Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Hendrik Goltzius’ engraving, “Christ before Caiaphas”, 1597


Hendrik Goltzius (aka Hendrick Goltzius) (1558–1617)
“Christ before Caiaphas”, 1597, plate 4 from the series, “The Passion”, consisting of 12 plates executed between 1596 and 1598. The curator of the BM advises that there is a preparatory drawing for this print in Leipzig (Reznicek 36).

Engraving on fine laid paper with small margins.
Size (sheet) 22.5 x 15.5 cm; (plate) 20.2 x 13.5 cm; (image borderline) 19.7 x 13 cm
Lettered with monogram and date in lower right: "A.o 97 / HG". Numbered in lower left: “4”

TIB 1980 3(3).30 (20) p. 37; New Hollstein (Dutch & Flemish) 20 (Hendrick Goltzius); Hirschmann 1921 24; Hollstein 24.I; Strauss 1977 343; Bartsch III.20.30

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Plate 4: Christ before Caiaphas; a serene Christ stands before the high priest, standing at left, between two torch-bearers; in the distance are the towers of buildings and a starry night sky. 1597 Engraving” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=1470063&partId=1&searchText=Christ+before+Caiaphas+&page=1)

Condition: crisp, slightly silvery impression with small margins varying in size but approximately 1 cm. There are almost invisible restorations of minor abrasions, otherwise the print is in excellent condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, stains or foxing).

I am selling this original engraving by Goltzius for the total cost of AU$440 (currently US$350.43/EUR296.03/GBP264.70 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing rare print from 1597 by one of the most famous printmakers of that time, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.


Walter L Strauss (editor of the commentary volume in the catalogué raisonne for Golzius in the series, “The Illustrated Bartsch”, 1980) draws attention to a few details in this print that my eye missed when I first studied it and hopefully will be of interest to other viewers. One feature that my eye had simply passed over is the lantern “held over Christ’s head” (p. 37). This detail failed to attract my eye as I must have mistakenly perceived it as being a window in the distant wall rather than the lantern that it clearly is. Another detail—and one which I feel justified in not seeing at all as it is so tiny and so faintly engraved is the cock “who will crow after Peter’s third denial … pictured on the threshold” (ibid). This rooster, inscribed in a very schematic way, can be seen immediately below the helmeted soldier’s right hand.
Beyond pointing out these details, Strauss (1980) also offers the following interesting insight:
“The style of this sheet is patterned on that of Lucas van Leyden, although this scene is absent for Lucas’s Passion series” (ibid).








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