CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Virtuos imitiert. Die Meisterstiche des Hendrick Goltzius (1558–1617)

Virtuoso Imitation. The Engravings of Hendrick Goltzius (1558–1617) Exhibition: 3 December 2014 - 1 February 2015

The art of the virtuoso engraver Hendrick Goltzius oscillates between the poles of imitatio and aemulatio, between imitation and emulation. Goltzius was capable of reproducing the artistic methods and styles of such famous predecessors as Albrecht Dürer, Lucas van Leyden and Cornelis Cort — and even of composing new engravings in their respective manner, thereby putting the expertise of the public to the test.
The point of departure for the presentation will be the six so-called master engravings from the 1590s, which were created after Goltzius’ journey to Italy. As Karel van Mander reports, Golzius used smoke to blacken the paper of the prints in order to sell them for horrendous prices to collectors and connoisseurs as “engravings by the Old Masters”. Moreover, in an era in which art emancipated itself from craftsmanship, Golzius explored the power of artistic imagination as such, for example by deliberately leaving the Adoration of the Shepherds in a state of incompletion. He further pursued fascinating art-historical approaches such as an investigation of the cognitive value of vision.