Pietà (The Lamentation of the Virgin)

Accession Number

Pietà (The Lamentation of the Virgin)

Hendrick Goltzius

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
engraving on thick slightly textured cream laid paper

8 3/4 x 6 3/16 in. (22.2 x 15.7 cm);19 5/16 x 14 5/16 in. (48.9 x 36.2 cm)

Credit Line
Museum Purchase made possible by the Friends of the Museum of Art

Label 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, 2000

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

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Jesus Christ

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& Author Notes

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