- Museum number
Self-portrait; half-length to right, looking to front, wearing a hat and a wide ruff, holding a copper-plate, in his right hand a burin, a shuttered window in right background. c.1589
Silverpoint with graphite, with grey and blue-grey wash, on yellow-prepared vellum
Verso: A kneeling camel
Silverpoint on yellow-prepared vellum
- Production date
- 1589 (c.)
Height: 146 millimetres
Width: 104 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- This is an early self-portrait by Goltzius. The high degree of finish (including wash) might indicate that this sheet was intended as a presentation drawing. A previous owner of this drawing, Valerius Röver, describes Goltzius as holding a compass. This identification as a self-portrait got lost over time, with Popham describing the present drawing as 'portrait of an artist'; it was Reznicek who recognised the artist again. The self-portrait shows similarities with the self-portrait in Stockholm (Reznicek 255) which is however executed in three chalks. The camel on the verso is similar in technique to some animal drawings in the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich, inv.no.1296/97 (Reznicek 417) and in the Ashmolean, Oxford.
Literature: E.J.K. Reznicek, 'Die Zeichnungen von Hendrick Goltzius', Utrecht, 1961, cat.no.254; H. Leeflang and G. Luijten, 'Hendrick Goltzius (1558-1617): Drawings, prints and paintings', exh.cat. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Metropolitan Museum of Art New York and Toledo Museum of Art Ohio, 2003, cat.no.1 (dated around 1586-90); An van Camp in 'Drawing in Silver and Gold: from Leonardo to Jasper Johns' Princeton and Oxford, 2015, p. 148, fig. 4, pl. 57; Joanna Russell, Judith Rayner and Jenny Bescoby, ' Northern European Metalpoint Drawings: technical examination and analysis', London, 2016, p. 26, 43-49, 66.
The 1996 Malcolm Exhibition label text:
Although one of Goltzius' most highly-finished drawings, this 'Self-portrait' may have been executed in an informal sketchbook; the 'verso' contains a slight sketch of a camel that resembles other studies of animals by Goltzius in the same medium. The artist was responsible for something of a revival in the use of silverpoint, inspired by the example of artists of the Renaissance, including Dürer.
Goltzius, a pupil of the humanist and engraver Dirck Volckertsz. Coornhert, settled in Haarlem in 1576-7. Until around 1600 he concentrated on drawing and printmaking, establishing an international reputation as the leading engraver of his day. From 1600 he concentrated on painting.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1974 July-Dec, BM, Portrait Drawings, no.130
1990 Apr-Aug, BM, Treasures of P&D, (no cat.)
1996/7 Sep-Jan, BM, Malcolm Collection, no.75
2003 June-Sep, New York, Met Mus of Art, Hendrick Goltzius 1558-1617
2003/4 Oct-Jan, Ohio, Toledo Mus of Art, Hendrick Goltzius 1558-1617
2005 July-Sep, BM, 'Masterpieces of Portrait Drawing' (no cat.)
2015 May-Jul, Washington, National Gallery of Art, 'Drawing in Silver and Gold'
2015 10 Sep-6 Dec, London, British Museum, 'Drawing in Silver and Gold'
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- J. de Vries, his sale, The Hague, 13.x.1738/2
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number