Desiderius Erasmus (1523)
Although the Dutch humanist Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam (1466/69-1536) advocated Catholic reform, he also opposed the Protestant movement and thus incurred the scorn of Martin Luther. Unlike other European intellectuals of his day, Erasmus did not build his career around a court or a university; rather, he successfully used the flourishing printing industry to spread his ideas. Admired and renowned throughout Europe, Erasmus commissioned numerous portraits of himself, which he sent to friends and admirers. This is one of several portraits of Erasmus by Hans Holbein the Younger, one of the most famous portraitists of the 16th century. Oil painting by Hans Holbein the Younger (c. 1497-1543), 1523.