Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen


This exhibition marks the 500th anniversary of "The Praise of Folly" by the humanist and pioneer of modern thinking, Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus. Erasmus (1466-1536) was an immensely popular figure in Europe during his life and several artists enjoyed portraying him. This exhibition brings together paintings, drawings, prints and objects that shed light on Erasmus's ideas and illustrate his influence on the arts and society. He corresponded with rulers all over Europe, was a critic of the Catholic Church, and paved the way for Reformation. He also believed that artists should portray the Virgin demurely and not as an erotic classical goddess.

One of the highlights is the portrait by Hans Holbein the Younger, which depicts Erasmus sitting at a desk and writing in a book. Other works were inspired by or refer to "The Praise of Folly," published in 1509, which mocks all kinds of human folly. The book encouraged artists to explore new subjects, such as misers, swindlers and fools. One such painting is "The Moneychanger and his Wife" by Quinten Massys, which is being shown in the Netherlands for the first time.


November 8, 2008, through February 8, 2009
18-20 Museumpark
3015 CX Rotterdam
T. +31 (0)10 4419400