The Dutch printmaker and painter Hendrik Goltzius became the foremost Dutch engraver of the mannerist movement.
Goltzius marriage to a wealthy widow at the age of 21 allowed him to establish an independent business in Haarlem. In 1590 he traveled to Italy, where he fell under the spell of Michelangelo’s work. Many of his later works were exaggerated interpretations of the Italian master.
Goltzius is considered among the greatest master of the burin, the tool used to make copperplate engravings. He pioneered several engraving techniques such as the “dot and lozenge” where dots are inserted in the lozenge shaped spaces created by cross-hatching to add nuance to the shading.
A Marriage Based on Pleasure
Engraved by Jan Saenredam after Hendrik Goltzius. (Goltzius furent, Sanredam Sculp.)
The Dutch mannerist artist Henrick Goltzius (1558–1617) and his pupil and collaborator Jan Saenredam (1565 – 1607) were two of the greatest engravers of their time.
This engraving is the first in a trilogy of three numbered engravings by Saenreman after Goltzius called the Marriage Trilogy.
It depicts a marriage based on attraction or desire, with eros or cupid officiating over the ceremony. It is part of a series on the different types of marriage, which also included a marriage based on greed officiated over by the devil. (See the copy in the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco)
The last in the series shows marriage “A Marriage Founded Solely on Pure and Chaste Love, Which is Blessed by Christ.” (See copy in the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco).
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