Brant: Going for a Hunt near Carthage

Aeneas, Dido, and three youths prepare to go hunting. Dido, on the right, wears an embroidered Sidonian hunting garment (127); her prancing horse wears elaborate decorations (134-5). Aeneas, on the left, commands an energetic horse and at least four dogs. Their hunting companions all ride horses; one carries a horn, while another carries what seems to be a beating stick. One of the youths must be Ascanius, but he is not labelled. (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. 214r, executed by an anonymous engraver under the direction of Brant.


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)

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