Pietà (The Lamentation of the Virgin)Artist(s)Hendrick GoltziusObject Creation Date1596Medium & Supportengraving on thick slightly textured cream laid paperDimensions
8 3/4 in. x 6 3/16 in. ( 22.2 cm x 15.7 cm )Credit LineMuseum Purchase made possible by the Friends of the Museum of ArtLabel copy
This print exemplifies the great degree to which artists are in dialogue with each other across time. Around the end of the sixteenth century Haarlem printmaker Hendrick Goltzius, like many of his artist colleagues, paid homage to the early sixteenth-century master Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471–1528). Goltzius evoked the earlier master’s work through the small size of the present image and the placement of Goltzius’ own monogram in sharp perspective in the near foreground. For the present print Goltzius was reminded of an engraving by Dürer in which the corpse-like child on the lap of the mourning Madonna and a pitch-black sky foretell Christ’s death. Instead of the child, however, he looked back to the celebrated Pietà of Michelangelo (Italian, 1475–1564), which Goltzius would have seen in Rome in 1590–1591. As in Michelangelo’s sculpture, the body of Christ depicted in this work is beautifully radiant yet utterly lifeless.
Gallery label text, collections gallery, by Curator Annette Dixon, February, 2000Primary Object ClassificationPrintRights
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