CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Goltzius and his circle

Exhibition: 8 October 2008 - 15 March 2009

From the museum website, 12 December 2008

Stanford, California – The Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University presents two exhibitions that focus on the work of Dutch artist Hendrick Goltzius (1558-1617). Hendrick Goltzius: promised gifts from the Kirk Long Collection opens 17 December 2008 and continues through 29 March 2009. That is preceded by an introductory display, 8 October 2008 – 15 March 2009, entitled Goltzius and his circle.

“Goltzius was a brilliant draftsman and noteworthy painter, but he is best known for his printmaking. He enjoyed a successful and complex career, first making prints after the designs of others, later engraving his own compositions, and finally producing designs for others to engrave while he devoted himself to painting,” said Bernard Barryte, the Center’s curator of European art. “These works span Goltzius’s career as a printmaker, revealing his unrivaled mastery as an engraver of the human figure and his proficiency in creating complex, dynamic multi-figure compositions and richly colored woodcuts. This is an opportunity to relish the artist’s technical virtuosity and the agility of his imagination through several of his most extraordinary images.”

Hendrick Goltzius: promised gifts from the Kirk Long Collection, in the Center’s Lynn Krywick Gibbons Gallery, presents 17 works by the master. These include 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, in the Center’s Early European Gallery, offers 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 is 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.

Both exhibitions feature promised gifts from the collection of Kirk Edward Long, with additional works from the Center’s collection, and highlight planned giving as an important facet of collection development. These exhibitions are made possible by the Lynn Krywick Gibbons Gallery Exhibitions Fund and the Robert Mondavi Family Fund.