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Fall

  • 1956/1.78 - Hercules, Albrecht Dürer, circa 1498; 12 7/16 in x 8 11/16 in

  • 1994/2.13 - The Farnese Hercules, Hendrick Goltzius, circa 1592; 16 7/16 in. x 11 5/8 in. 

 

Winter

  • 1989/1.61 - Marcus Calphurnius Flama (Plate 8 from "Roman Heroes"), Hendrick Goltzius, 1586; 15 13/16 in. x 10 5/8 in.

  • 1960/2.83 - Samson's Vengeance, Unknown artist, 2nd half of 16th century; 26 1/4 in x 16 15/16 in

4 Items in this Learning Collection
Collection Object

Copyright
All Rights Reserved ()

Marcus Calphurnius Flama (Plate 8 from "Roman Heroes")

Accession Number
1989/1.61

Title
Marcus Calphurnius Flama (Plate 8 from "Roman Heroes")

Artist(s)
Hendrick Goltzius

Object Creation Date
1586

Medium & Support
engraving on white laid paper

Dimensions
15 13/16 x 10 11/16 in. (40.1 x 27 cm);22 1/16 x 18 1/8 in. (56 x 46 cm)

Credit Line
Museum Purchase

Label copy
March 28, 2009
This engraving of a hypermuscular man—reminiscent of a modern-day superhero—represents Marcus Calphurnius Flama, and belongs to a series of eight prints created by Goltzius depicting heroes of the early Roman Republic. Contemporaries coined the term “Knollenstil,” or “knobby style,” to describe the exaggerated muscularity of Calphurnius and other male figures that Goltzius engraved in the late 1580s. Goltzius developed the style through his collaboration with the famous and highly influential artist Bartholomeus Spranger, whose drawings Goltzius occasionally translated into prints. The challenge of emulating Spranger’s skillful renderings of anatomy, in particular, seem to have inspired Goltzius to push the articulation of musculature in Calphurnius and in other similar figures to such a stunning extreme. Goltzius probably sought to promote his artistry through such virtuosic displays, an intention confirmed by the dedication of The Roman Heroes to the Holy Roman Emperor, Rudoph II, a committed patron of the arts.

Subject matter
Goltzius depicted Marcus Calphurnius Flama in the eighth in a series of ten prints representing heroes of the Roman Republic. Flama earned his fame for rescuing a Roman consul from an ambush by the Carthaginians during the First Punic War (264-241 BCE) against overwhelming odds, a military feat glimpsed in the background.
Goltzius's contemporaries coined the term "Knollenstil," or "knobby style," to describe the exaggerated muscularity of Flama and other male figures that Goltzius engraved in the late 1580s. The powerful anatomy of such figures indicated their physical might and heroism, while also offering Goltzius an opportunity to display his artistic prowess. Perhaps with an eye toward securing a wealthy patron, Goltzius dedicated the "Roman Heroes" series to the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II, thereby associating the emperor with these ancient exemplars of military virtue.

Physical Description
A muscular man towers over a mountainous landscape in this engraving. Clothed only in a helmet, sandals, and flowing cape, his startling physique is on full display. He grasps a sword and shield and strides vigorously toward the background, where a knot of men battle at the foot of a mountain.

Primary Object Classification
Print

Collection Area
Western

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
Mannerist (Greek vase painting style)
armor (protective wear)
battles
engraving (printing process)
helmets (protective wear)
mountains
nudes (representations)
wars

6 Related Resources

Northern Renaissance and Reformation-Era Art
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)
The Human Body, a survey
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)
Combat, Battle, Warfare
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
all past MOVESCI objects
(Part of: All past MOVESCI objects)
W20 - Gross : MOVESCI 230
(Part of: Resources Made by Isabel Engel)

& Author Notes

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