Hans Holbein the Younger and Reformation Bible Production

Hans Holbein the Younger produced a large corpus of illustrations that appeared in an astonishing variety of Bibles, including Latin Vulgate editions, Desiderius Erasmus's Greek New Testament, rival German translations by Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingli, the English Coverdale Bible, as well as...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Church history
Main Author: Price, David 1957-
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: Cambridge Univ. Press [2017]
In:Church history
Year: 2017, Volume: 86, Issue: 4, Pages: 998-1040
Standardized Subjects / Keyword chains:B Holbeinlthe Younger, Hans 1497-1543 / Reformation / Book printing / Vetus Latina / Illustration
Online Access: Volltext (Verlag)
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Summary:Hans Holbein the Younger produced a large corpus of illustrations that appeared in an astonishing variety of Bibles, including Latin Vulgate editions, Desiderius Erasmus's Greek New Testament, rival German translations by Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingli, the English Coverdale Bible, as well as in Holbein's profoundly influential Icones veteris testamenti (Images of the Old Testament)—to name only his better-known contributions. This essay discusses strategies that the artist developed for accommodating the heterogeneity of the various humanist and Reformation Bibles. For Erasmus's innovative Bibles, Holbein connected the text to the expansive concept of Renaissance humanist art, simultaneously portraying the new Bible and humanist art as part of a broadly defined cultural-philosophical discourse. Similarly, Holbein's production of Protestant Bibles, most importantly the epochal Luther Bible, associated the new text with the humanist Bible and, in so doing, conceptualized the humanist biblical image as a validation of religious art in a new context. Ultimately, the reliance on humanist art as a cultural authority mitigated perception of the heterogeneity of the text to the point that the publishers of Holbein's Icones completely displaced the text with the daring creation of a new genre: the picture Bible. With the exception of the iconography of royal supremacy in England, Holbein's Bible image was exceedingly movable, an artistic efficiency designed to contribute to the stability of the Bible image across a wide humanist and multiconfessional spectrum.
ISSN:1755-2613
Contains:Enthalten in: Church history
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1017/S0009640717002086