Hercules and Dejanira, Hendrick Goltzius
Hendrick Goltzius
Hercules and Dejanira
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Hendrick Goltzius

Hercules and Dejanira, ca. 1590

268 x 195 mm
Physical Description
Feder in Braun
Inventory Number
Object Number
1792 Z
Acquired in 1847
Can be presented in the study room of the Graphische Sammlung (special opening hours)


About the Work

After his return from Italy in 1591, Goltzius increasingly concentrated on designing compositions which other engravers then realised for his publishing house. The two drawings obj. nos. 1792 Z and 1793 Z are examples of such designs. While Goltzius used the pen only sparsely for the outlines, he modelled the bodies with a brush and set delicate accents of light with white opaque paint. He did not draw the line structure of the engraving but created a tonal and painterly chiaroscuro effect with generous brush washes, which the engraver then had to transfer into the hatching patterns of the copperplate.

The motifs of obj. nos. 1792 Z and 1793 Z belong to a series of four ""Loves of the Gods"". Hercules is depicted with his mistress Dejanira; in the background he shoots the centaur Nessos while the latter tries to kidnap Dejanira.

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