Brant: King Evander Welcomes Aeneas

VP1502_140_313v_King_Evander_welcomes_Aeneas_Aen._8_125-174.jpg
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Pallas holds the hand of Aeneas in a gesture of good will and leads him to King Evander (124). In Vergil, Evander is still in the grove, and Pallas and Aeneas go to him there, leaving the river (125). In the image, however, Evander approaches them near the shore. After Aeneas and Evander exchange speeches agreeing to an alliance (126-71), Evander points toward the top of the image, where the feast has finished and a few men still sit at the table in front of empty dishes (172-4). On the right, a few bulls wait to be sacrificed on the freshly lit altar to renew the rites of the festival (175-83). (Katy Purington)

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. 313v, executed by an anonymous engraver under the direction of Brant.

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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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