Woodcuts by Hans Holbein
[Latin Bible]. Biblia Sacra iuxta vulgata[m] quam dicunt editionem.
Paris: Charlotte Guillard and Guillaume Desboys, 1552. (AER5604)
Hans Holbein (1497–1543).
Icones historiarum Veteris Testamenti.
Lyon: Jehan Frellon, 1547. (10226)
The immense impact that Hans Holbein’s art exerted on Bible illustration extended beyond the artist’s lifetime. Ninety of the woodcuts in the 1552 Paris Edition were faithful copies after a masterful set of 118 Old Testament illustrations that Holbein had produced at Basel in the 1520s. As a result of Protestant iconoclasm in Basel, the original woodcuts did not appear in print until Christopher Froschauer’s Zürich Bible of 1531. The originals were also printed as an independent suite under the title Icones historiarum Veteris Testamenti at Lyon in 1547. For comparison, Holbein’s woodcut of Ruth and Boaz (Ruth 2) from the Icones is exhibited next to the close copy found in the 1552 Bible.