Reference Entry

Goltzius, Hendrick

in Benezit Dictionary of Artists

ISBN: 9780199773787
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199899913 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/benz/9780199773787.article.B00076377
Goltzius, Hendrick

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Dutch, 16th – 17th century, male.

Born February 1558, in Müklbracht, near Venlo (Low Countries); died 1617, in Haarlem.

Painter, engraver (including burin), draughtsman. Religious subjects, allegorical subjects, mythological subjects, portraits, nudes, genre scenes, landscapes, animals.

Haarlem School.

He came from a long line of artists, and his father Jan Goltz II (1534-post 1609) settled in Duisburg in 1561, studying under the engravers Dirk Volckertsz. Coornhert and Philip Galle. In 1576, the young Hendrick moved to Haarlem, in 1579, at the age of 21, marrying the widow Margaretha Jansdr. In 1590 and 1591, he travelled in Germany and Italy with Jean Mathys, visiting Sadeler in Munich. Hendrick Goltzius was one of the first artists to set up his own printing business. He was the teacher of Jacob Matham, Jan Muller and Jan Saenredam. Goltzius was chiefly known as an engraver. He made more than 300 engravings and drew portraits. From the 1580s he gained great fame, to the extent that, in 1595, he was granted 'imperial privilege' which allowed him to prevent his work from being copied. He only began painting in 1600. Much less successful than his engraving, it shows the influence of the Italian mannerists. During his travels in Italy, his discovery of the antiquities of ancient Rome tempered his mannerism, leading to a more classical gravity. He also turned his hand to landscapes, producing works influenced by Bril, Muziano and the woodcuts of Titian. Goltzius produced engravings of a very high quality, and his works are rightly prized. He perfected a technique of rendering the human body through an accumulation of curved lines and excelled in chiaroscuro woodcuts. His male nudes are charged with eroticism and executed with great virtuosity, his aim being to raise etching to the level of other art forms. His multi-dimensional approach was influenced by the work of the sculptor Willem Danielsz. van Tetrode who was introducing the art of the Italian Renaissance into the Netherlands at that time. Some 500 of Goltzius' drawings survive, including the ...

Reference Entry.  2282 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Painting ; Prints and Printmaking ; Religious Art ; Christian Art

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