Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Goltzius and His Circle

The Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University presented two exhibitions that focus on the work of Dutch artist Hendrick Goltzius (1558-1617). “Hendrick Goltzius: Promised Gifts from the Kirk Long Collection” opened December 17, 2008 and continued through March 29, 2009. It was preceded by an introductory display, October 8, 2008-March 15, 2009, entitled “Goltzius and His Circle.”

“Hendrick Goltzius: Promised Gifts from the Kirk Long Collection,” in the Center's Lynn Krywick Gibbons Gallery, presented 17 works by the master. These included

a suite of early circular engravings of the Last Judgment commissioned by Philipp Galle, who recognized the talent of the young Goltzius and hired him to engrave his designs:

Goltzius's monumental “Marriage of Psyche and Cupid” after a design by Bartolomeus Spranger:

and chiaroscuro woodcuts such as

“Hercules and Cacus”

and “Demogorgon in the Cave of Eternity.”

“Goltzius and His Circle,” offered 14 works by Goltzius and several printmakers with whom he was associated as a student, engraver, designer, or publisher. These late-16th-century images demonstrate the range of religious and secular subject matter favored by the international audience of the time. Depicting powerful, intertwined figures sustaining precarious yet graceful postures, the prints exemplify the Late Mannerist style and technical brilliance for which Goltzius and his circle are known.

Included were

a set of the Four Elements by Philipp Galle:

a violent “Cain and Abel” by Goltzius collaborator Jan Muller:

Jacob Matham's “Mars and Venus” after a design by Goltzius (who was his father-in-law):

and Goltzius's famous, unfinished “Adoration of the Shepherds:”