Brant: Evander Kneels before the Corpse of Pallas

VP1502_169_373v_Evander_kneels_before_the_corpse_of_his_son_Pallas_Aen._11_139-181.jpg
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The corpse of Pallas has arrived at Pallanteum. On the right stand the Trojan soldiers who brought Pallas back to Pallanteum (145-6). On the left, near the gates of the city, two Arcadians, wearing ceremonial hooded robes hold funeral torches (142-4). They stand in front of several of the matrons of Pallanteum (146-7). In the center, King Evander kneels at the bier that bears Pallas and gives a mournful speech, in which he asks Aeneas to avenge the death of Pallas by killing Turnus (148-81). It is worth noting that this scene happens at night (citation).

Woodcut illustration from the “Strasbourg Vergil,” edited by Sebastian Brant: Publii Virgilii Maronis Opera cum quinque vulgatis commentariis expolitissimisque figuris atque imaginibus nuper per Sebastianum Brant superadditis (Strasbourg: Johannis Grieninger, 1502), fol. 373v, executed by an anonymous engraver under the direction of Brant.

Comments: 

Sebastian Brant (1458-1521) was a humanist scholar of many competencies. Trained in classics and law at the University of Basel, Brant later lectured in jurisprudence there and practiced law in his native city of Strasbourg. While his satirical poem Das Narrenschiff won him considerable standing as a writer, his role in the transmission of Virgil to the Renaissance was at least as important. In 1502 he and Strasbourg printer Johannes Grüninger produced a major edition of Virgil’s works, along with Donatus’ Life and the commentaries of Servius, Landino, and Calderini, with more than two hundred woodcut illustrations. (Annabel Patterson)

Bibliography: 

Werner Suerbaum, Handbuch der illustrierten Vergil-Ausgaben, 1502–1840 (Hildesheim: Georg Olms, 2008) VP 1502, no. 86.

Annabel Patterson, “Sebastian Brant: Illustration as Exegesis,” in Pastoral and Ideology: Virgil to Valéry (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987), p. 92.

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1502
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University of Heidelberg
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