Saturday, 7 October 2017

Hendrik Goltzius’ engraving, “The Flagellation”, 1597

Hendrik Goltzius (aka Hendrick Goltzius) (1558–1617)

The Flagellation”, 1597, plate 6 from the series, “The Passion”, consisting of 12 plates executed between 1596 and 1598 (BM nos. 1856,0614.55-66). There is a preparatory drawing for this print in the Museum für Bildende Kunst in Leipzig (Reznicek 36). Interestingly, Walter L Strauss (1980) in TIB vol. 3 (commentary), advises that some of the preparatory drawings for this series “were corrected by means of bits of paper pasted on them on which the position of some figures were altered” (p. 33; see also Reznicek 1961, pp. 8, 250).

Engraving on fine laid paper trimmed along the platemark and lined onto a conservator’s support sheet.
Size (sheet) 19.7 x 12.8 cm
Inscribed at lower left with plate number, "6”, and the artist’s monogram and date: “A.o 97 / HG".

Note: there are many deceptive copies of this print. When I compared the print reproduced in TIB, vol 3, p. 39 with the “genuine” Goltzius in the BM, for example, I see a difference between the images in terms of the treatment of the hatched shadow on the side of the building at upper right: the BM’s copy is comparatively crude in the linework whereas the copy in TIB is closer to the print I am listing. The size of the listed print also matches the copy in TIB. This is helpful in determining the genuine Goltzius as Strauss (1980) advises that most famous deceptive copy by Abraham Hogenberg is “somewhat reduced in size.” Close comparison of the copy shown in TIB, however, shows that the “7” in the date is slightly lower in the listed print and I also see discrepancies with the form of the inscribed plate number, “6.”

TIB 3 (3). 32 (20) (Walter L Strauss 1980, "The Illustrated Bartsch", vol. 3, p. 39); New Hollstein (Dutch & Flemish) 22 (Hendrick Goltzius); Hirschmann 1921 26; Hollstein 26.I; Strauss 1977 339; Bartsch III.20.32

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Plate 6: The Flagellation; Christ is bound to a column and whipped by two men; the figure on the left has a leather whip with barbs while the figure on the right, seen from behind, has a birch; at far left a man holds a torch and in the foreground a third man binds a pile of sticks. 1597” (,0614.56.&page=1)

Condition: richly inked, museum-quality impression trimmed at the platemark. There is a loss of the upper left corner but this has been replenished, otherwise the print is in superb condition. The sheet has been laid upon a conservator’s support sheet of millennium quality washi paper

I am selling this very beautiful engraving that is either a genuine Goltzius or a remarkably fine deceptive copy for the total cost of AU$440 (currently US$342.39/EUR291.82/GBP262.06 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this sublime late Renaissance print, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print is reserved pending confirmation about its purchase

Walter L Strauss (editor of the commentary volume for vol. 3 in the catalogué raisonne for Golzius in the series, “The Illustrated Bartsch”, 1980) offers the following interesting insight about the twelve-plate series, “The Passion”, of which this engraving is the sixth plate:
“All twelve sheets are engraved in the manner of Lucas van Leyden, yet compositionally this does not invariably hold true. Some sheets bear a close resemblance to portions of Dürer’s Passion … even though some of the heads seem to be based on Lucas van Leyden’s … [design]. The series served as a model for plates produce by Delft fayence manufacturers, as well as for an altarpiece at Rügenwade.” (p. 33)

Regarding the deceptive copies of this important print by Goltzius, Strauss (1980) lists seven known copies. None of the descriptions of the copies match this print. Nevertheless, I have personal reservations about this particular impression and the print held by the BM (see my earlier comment) regarding whether they are original Goltzius prints.

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