Man with Plumed Cap, after Hendrick Goltzius
30.3 cm x 19.9 cm (11 15/16 in. x 7 13/16 in.)
Christoffel van Sichem I (aka Christoffel van Sichem the elder)
(Amsterdam, circa 1546 - 1624, Amsterdam)
Medium and Support:
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Leo Steinberg Collection, 2002
Sichem was a professional woodcutter of book illustration. He did, however, realize some independent works, principally three reproductions of highly finished drawings of fantasy portraits by Goltzius and his pupil Jacob Matham. By this date and especially given their style, such elaborate and calligraphic designs would normally have been translated into engraving. Sichem achieved comparable effects with a virtuosity that defies the growing association of his craft with simple, unsophisticated imagery. Aesthically ambitious, self-consciously refined, these are among the last examples of a tradition extending back to Dürer, then dormant until the late 19th century.