Gallery of prints for sale

Monday 25 May 2020

Hendrik Goltzius’ (workshop) engraving, “The Silver Age”, 1598

(Workshop of) Hendrick Goltzius (1558–1617) based on Goltzius’ design,
possibly engraved by Goltzius’ pupil Robert de Baudous (1574/5–after 1659) or by Goltzius himself.

“The Age of Silver”, 1598, plate four in the series of fifty-two plates, “The Creation of the Four Elements”, illustration to Ovid’s (43 BC–17/18 AD) “Metamorphoses Book I” with Latin verses by Franco Estius (fl.1580s–1594) below the image borderline, published by Claes Jansz. Visscher (1587–1652) in Haarlem.

The Rijksmuseum offers the following information regarding the series in which this print features:
(transl.) “This print is part of a series of 52 prints that depict stories from Ovid's Metamorphoses. This series is divided into three numbered series: two of 20 prints and one of 12 prints. This print belongs to the first series”

Engraving on fine laid paper, trimmed along the platemark with text lines below the image and backed with an edging strip with an ink borderline.
Size: (sheet with edge border) 18.5 x 26.2 cm; (sheet) 17.4 x 25.1 cm; (image borderline) 16.7 x 25.1 cm.
Numbered twice on plate below the image borderline: (at left and right) “4”.
Lettered on plate below the image borderline in four lines of Latin in two columns by Franco Estius: "Sub Joue deterior .../ ...//…/ … luxit humus."

State i (of ii) Lifetime impression before the plate numbers are erased/burnished.

TIB 3 (3) 34 (104) (After Goltzius) (Walter L Strauss [ed.] 1980, “The Illustrated Bartsch: Netherlandish Artists: Hendrik Goltzius”, vol. 3, Abaris Books, New York, p. 314); New Hollstein Dutch 535–1(2) (Marjolein Leesberg [comp.] 2012, “Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts c.1450–1700: Hendrick Goltzius”, vol. 3, Ouderkerk aan den Ijssel, Sound & Vision, p. 227, cat. no. 535).

The British Museum offers the following description of this print in its second state (the listed impression is from the first state):
“Plate 4: The Silver Age; allegorical scene with a man ploughing with a single ox in foreground, distant figures sowing seeds and gathering crops beyond, a spinster in lower left, on the right a female figure proffers a cornucopia, Jupiter on a cloud at top centre; later state with numbers burnished; after Hendrik Goltzius. 1589 Engraving”

Condition: a strong, well-printed impression trimmed to the platemark and edged with a margin strip with ruled ink border lines. Beyond the added border (which seems to be removable if necessary), the sheet is in a near faultless condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, losses, abrasions, stains or foxing).

I am selling this important allegorical print showing Goltzius’ vision of an imaginary scene representing life in the Silver Age where abundantly muscled near-naked men, plough and sow crops overseen by a bare-breasted lady holding a distaff (i.e. a spindle—no doubt symbolising womanly work in the agricultural age, but arguably also control over men as the distaff was a handy weapon of choice in arguments) for a total cost of AU$342 (currently US$224.90/EUR205.92/GBP184.05 at the time of posting this print) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this strong, near faultless, lifetime impression, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold

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