In May, the Art Institute of Chicago announced the acquisition of 1,440 Dutch Mannerist prints from the Hearn Family Foundation and Charles Hack collection. A selection of prints from the collection is now on view as part of the Institute’s regular rotation of works on paper.
Ranging chronologically from the 1530s to about 1650, these prints chart the history of Dutch printmaking at the period of its greatest technical and artistic sophistication. The incomparable collection, assembled over three decades, reveals all the complexity and sophistication of Mannerist art, including a virtuosic command of printmaking, unusual perspectives and proportions, and eroticism coupled with a delight in allegory and humanism.
The core of this acquisition is the work of Hendrick Goltzius (1558–1617), the most significant sixteenth-century Dutch artist and one of the greatest draftsmen and printmakers of his age. Also featured are works by a generation of artists who either trained with Goltzius or tried to measure up to his formidable example. His pupils—including Jacob Matham, Jacques de Gheyn, Jan Saenredam, and Jan Muller, all virtuosos—provide a rich and varied context to Goltzius’s masterworks.
In addition to the donation of a rare print to the museum, The Archer and the Milkmaid, designed by Jacques de Gheyn II, Mr. Hack generously established a purchase fund that will be used to continue acquiring Dutch Mannerist prints of the highest quality.
A large exhibition celebrating the acquisition is tentatively planned for 2027 and will be accompanied by a publication.