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Christ as the "true light"; at the left half stands Christ, talking to a group of believers, among them simple folk, and pointing to the true light in form of a burning candle in a candelabra, containing the symbols of the Evangelists; depicted at the right half is a group of blind philosophers, among them Plato and Aristotle, scholars and clergymen, falling into the abyss; first used in a calendar by Johann Copp (published by Christoph Froschauer at Zürich, 1527). c. 1523
- Production date
- 1520-1525 (c.)
Height: 84 millimetres (borderlines)
Width: 275 millimetres
- Curator's comments
The representation of the Evangelical Light is based on Luke 11, verse 33.
The design by Holbein was executed by Lützelburger.
All extant copies of the cut have been trimmed at the border and therefore it is impossible to know with certainty which text the image was intended to accompany on a single sheet. The assumption that the print, together with the Selling of the Indulgences (Hollstein 4), was meant for use on broadsheets, was challenged by Hieronymus (1984). The latter suggested that the print was commissioned by Zwingli and his printer Froschauer, directly for the use in Copp's calendar.
Bätschmann/Griener think it very probable that the woodcut was closely related to the publication of Luther's "Auszlegung der Episteln und Evangelien (...)" in 1522.
Cf. O. Bätschmann, P. Griener: Hans Holbein, London 1997, pp.116-7.
C. Müller: Hans Holbein d. J. Die Druckgraphik im Kupferstichkabinett Basel, exh. cat. 1997, pp.235-6, no. 2.
A late impression is registered as 1895-1-22-839.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
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