Enthralling Engraving

The Enterprise of Hendrick Goltzius

HAUPTBAU / 20.08.–13.11.2016 / Curator: Ariane Mensger

Late-sixteenth-century audiences were thrilled by the engravings of Hendrick Goltzius (1558–1617), and the technical perfection of his work and his unconventional inventions have lost none of their appeal. Drawing on is rich holdings, the exhibition at the Basel Kupferstichkabinett presents a selection of around eighty of the finest works by the master from Haarlem, including Biblical and mythological scenes and erudite allegories. One characteristic feature of Goltzius’s work is his depiction of the naked human body, which he staged in dynamic and artistic poses. His longstanding passion for mythological themes brought him to Italy in 1590/91, where he seized the opportunity to study famed antiquities and masterworks of Italian art. Goltzius owes his prominent place in art history primarily to a career combining three vocations: he was an inventor, engraver, and publisher. The exhibition illustrates that his great success did not grow solely out of his own creative powers. He collaborated with other renowned artists and employed talented associates who executed his engravings with the perfection for which he was celebrated.

The exhibition is supported by:


Ulla Dreyfus-Best