Hendrik Goltzius Netherland
2-5-1558 Venlo, NDL – 1-1-1617 Haarlem, NDLBack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Hendrik Goltzius after studying painting on glass for some years under his father, he learned engraving from the Dutch polymath Dirck Volckertszoon Coornhert, who then lived in Cleves. In 1577 he moved with Coornhert to Haarlem. In the same town, he was also employed by Philip Galle to engrave a set of prints of the history of Lucretia.
Hendrik Goltzius had a malformed right hand from a fire when he was a baby, which turned out to be especially well-suited to holding the burin (a steel cutting tool which is the essential tool of engraving.)
At the age of 21 he married a widow somewhat advanced in years, whose money enabled him to establish an independent business at Haarlem; but his unpleasant relations with her so affected his health that he found it advisable in 1590 to make a tour through Germany to Italy, where he acquired an intense admiration for the works of Michelangelo. He returned to Haarlem in August 1591, considerably improved in health, and worked there until his death.
His portraits, though mostly miniatures, are masterpieces of their kind, both on account of their exquisite finish, and as fine studies of individual character.
Hendrik Goltzius brought to an unprecedented level the use of the "swelling line", where the burin is manipulated to make lines thicker or thinner to create a tonal effect from a distance. He also was a pioneer of "dot and lozenge" technique, where dots are placed in the middle of lozenge shaped spaces created by cross-hatching to further refine tonal shading.
Art Movement: Mannerism
Influences: Dirck Coornhert
Traveled: Germany, Italy