Hendrik Goltzius, ‘THE DRAGON DEVOURING THE COMPANIONS OF CADMUS’, 1588, Stanza Del Borgo

Strauss 261 I /IV; The New Hollstein, Part II, 329 I/IV

A superb, brilliant impression in the first state, of one of the masterpieces of Goltzius as a printmaker. The exceptional richness of our impression makes visible the extraordinarily subtle, infinite gradations from light to deepest black.
These effects are particularly visible in the dragon’s wings and tail. The print also shows some plate tone at the bottom left corner.
With small, even margins, in fine condition.

This awful scene was inspired by the story of Cadmus in Ovid’s Metamorphoses.

Goltzius was the greatest exponent of Dutch Mannerism, renowned in the Netherlands and elsewhere for his technical skill and virtuosity.
He was one of the last great masters of copperplate engraving before this printing method took second place to the more flexible and personal etching technique in the seventeenth century. After being trained as a copperplate engraver, Goltzius worked for renowned publishers of prints in Antwerp before he founded his own publishing house in Haarlem in 1582.

Goltzius, Hendrik, and Walter L. Strauss. Hendrik Goltzius, 1558-1617: The Complete Engravings and Woodcuts. New York, 1977; no. 261.

About Hendrik Goltzius