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drawing

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1895,0915.1020

  • Description

    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

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  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1589 (c.)
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 146 millimetres
    • Width: 104 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Inscribed with a monogram (a later addition ?) Verso inscribed in an old hand: "hendrick Goldsius"
  • 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.

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  • Bibliography

    • Popham (D & F) 1932 10 (as Goltzius) bibliographic details
    • Reznicek 1961 254 bibliographic details
    • JCR 562 bibliographic details
    • Sell et al 2015 57 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (Netherlandish Roy Vellum Later XVIc)

  • 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'

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1895

  • Acquisition notes

    J. de Vries, his sale, The Hague, 13.x.1738/2

  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number

    1895,0915.1020

Self-portrait; half-length to right, looking to front, wearing a hat and a wide ruff, holding a tablet, in his right hand a silver point or etching needle Metalpoint, with blue-grey wash, on yellow prepared vellum Verso: A kneeling camel Black chalk, on yellow prepared vellum

Recto

Self-portrait; half-length to right, looking to front, wearing a hat and a wide ruff, holding a tablet, in his right hand a silver point or etching needle Metalpoint, with blue-grey wash, on yellow prepared vellum Verso: A kneeling camel Black chalk, on yellow prepared vellum

Image description

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Object reference number: PDO11836

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