Images of cats from the British Museum collection, £9.99
Height: 126.000 mm
Width: 168.000 mm
PD F.3-104 (Hollstein 7)
Prints and Drawings
Hendrik Goudt, Aurora, an engraving
The Netherlands, AD 1613
Engraving of a dawn landscape, after Adam Elsheimer
The signed print is a remarkably close transcription of Elsheimers' painting, now in Brunswick, by Goudt (1583-1648). The dawn sun catches the foliage on clusters of trees, filling the distant valley with light. The near side of the hill remains in deep shadow. These atmospheric effects were novelties in landscape painting at the time, and unheard of in an engraving.
Elsheimer lived in Rome between 1600 and 1610, where he acquired the heroic figure style valued by Italian connoisseurs, and mastered the dramatic lights and shadows of Caravaggio, the most naturalistic painter of the age. He combined these qualities in small and exquisite landscapes painted on copper, including night scenes illuminated by stars and moonlight. These jewel-like paintings contributed to the higher status achieved by landscape painting in the seventeenth century.
Goudt had trained as an engraver and painter. In 1604 he travelled to Rome, where for a time he appears to have supported Elsheimer, both as a pupil and a patron. He engraved two of Elsheimer's paintings in Rome, presumably under the master's supervision. Back in Holland after 1611, he engraved five more of Elsheimer's landscapes, from original paintings or drawings he had brought home with him. The novelty of these atmospheric engravings prompted other artists to attempt night scenes, and later influenced Rembrandt in his representation of shadows and nocturnal objects.
D. Freedberg, Dutch landscape prints of the (London, The British Museum Press, 1980)