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The Farnese Hercules

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The Farnese Hercules

circa 1591-1592
16th century
42.2 cm x 30.4 cm (16 5/8 in. x 11 15/16 in.)

Hendrick Goltzius (Mülbracht, Germany, 1558 - 1617, Haarlem, The Netherlands) Primary

Object Type: print
Artist Nationality: Europe, Dutch
Medium and Support: Engraving
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Leo Steinberg Collection, 2002
Accession Number: 2002.2173.1/3

This print depicts one of the most famous statues of antiquity, the monumental Hercules in the Roman collection of the noble Farnese family. It forms a series with two other engravings of the Apollo Belvedere and the Emperor Commodus as Hercules. Goltzius studied these statues and evidently prepared the engravings during a visit to Italy in 1590/91. While published only in 1617, they are capital, and justly celebrated, examples of the artist’s mature style, with virtuoso cutting, rigorous system, and extraordinary plasticity. Through this technique, Goltzius succeeded in conveying both the powerful form and lofty ethos of the prototypes. The Collection includes the complete set of the “Three Antique Roman Statues” in splendid impressions

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