Eramus of Holbien by HANS HOLBEIN, The Younger (German School)
THE delineation of character is the distinguishing contribution of German art.
It dominates portraiture and is conspicuous in the most imaginative religious
pictures: in Durer’s Four Apostles; in Holbein’s one great work for the Roman
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The Madonna of Burgomaster Meyer; and in the stupendous Cruci
fixwn by the mystic, Grunewald. In Holbein, precision of observation is carried
to its apex-not the optical search for intensities of light and dark as in
Velasquez and the minor Dutchmen-but the grasp of the relations and dif
ferentiations of human features: the line of the profile, the shape and curve
of the mouth, the depth and turn of the eye-socket-the components of the
face as they co-operate to produce individuality.
There may be unrelated images or printing on the reverse which does not show through.