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Hendrick Goltzius, Self-portrait, ca. 1585.

Hendrick Goltzius

An Engraver, Draftsman and Painter from Haarlem

Hendrick Goltzius (1558-1617), born near Venlo, learned the trade of glass painting from his father Jan Goltz in Duisburg. From 1574 to 1576, he received lessons in engraving techniques from the poet, engraver, theologian and philosopher Dirck Volckertsz Coornhert in Xanten, who emigrated from Haarlem. Following Coornhert, he settled in Haarlem, where he had a flourishing studio in 1582. Together with the Flemish painter-theorist Karel van Mander and the painter Cornelis Cornelisz, he founded an 'Academy' in Haarlem.

During this period Goltzius perfected an extremely elegant style, influenced by the Mannerism of Bartholomeus Spranger. In 1590-91, he traveled to Italy. Goltzius spent several months in Rome and copied the most famous ancient statues. The introduction to the works of antiquity and the Renaissance resulted in a change in Goltzius' style, which became more sober and realistic.

After his return in 1591, his most famous prints were created, the so-called 'Meisterstiche', scenes from the life of Mary made in the manner of old masters such as Albrecht Dürer and Parmigianino. By 1600 Goltzius also began to paint. His paintings usually depict mythological subjects. His drawings, many of which are preserved in Teylers Museum, made an important contribution to the development of art in his time, especially through his representation of the landscape and the (nude) figure.

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