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Tuesday 5 March 2019

Hendrik Goltzius' engraving, "The Last Supper", 1598

Hendrik Goltzius (1558–1617)

“The Last Supper” (La Cène [TIB title]), 1598, Plate 1 from the series of twelve engravings, “The Passion”.

Engraving on laid paper trimmed with small margins around the image borderline and backed with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 20.1 x 13.5 cm; (image borderline) 19.8 x 13.2 cm
Lettered within the escutcheon at upper centre with a dedication from Goltzius to Cardinal Federigo Borromeo (1564–1631), Archbishop of Milan and founder of the Biblioteca Ambrosiana.
Dated on portrayed tablet: (right of centre) “Ao 1598”.
Inscribed on plate along the lower edge: (left) “I”; (left of centre) [artist’s monogram] “HG”; (right of centre) “Cum privl. Sa Cæ. M.” —the Imperial Copyright granted to Goltzius in 1595.

State i (of ii) lifetime impression before the addition of the “Fleur-de-Lis on the escutcheon with a diagonal stripe” (see TIB, vol. 3. [Commentary], p. 33, no. 027.S2).

TIB 3(3).27(20).S1 (Walter L Strauss [ed.] 1980, “The Illustrated Bartsch: Netherlandish Artists: Hendrik Goltzius”, vol. 3, Abaris Books, New York, p. 34); New Hollstein (Dutch & Flemish) 17.I (Hendrick Goltzius); Hirschmann 1921 21; Hollstein 21.I; Bartsch III.20.27.

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Plate 1: The Last Supper; Christ is seated at a table with his apostles; He holds two pieces of bread and St John dozes at His side; a servant bears a large plate of food and is about to descend some steps at right; beyond is a view of a large fortified building.”

The Rijksmuseum offers the following insight about this print:
“The twelve pages of this series are engraved in the style of Lucas van Leyden, but parts of the compositions also correspond to parts of Dürer's Passion. There is an undated drawing that served as a model for the print in the Museum für Bildende Kunst in Leipzig (depicted in Reznicek, see literature). Jacobs, G.”

Condition: well-printed, slightly silvery impression—very similar in tonality to the copy held by the Rijksmuseum (also a first state impression)—trimmed close to the image borderline and backed with a support sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. The sheet is in excellent condition for its age but close examination shows a few small stains.

I am selling this lifetime impression of an important engraving by Goltzius revealing a strong influence of the hand of Lucas van Leyden, for a total cost of AU$492 (currently US$348.42/EUR307.50/GBP264.42 at the time of posting this print) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this finely executed engraving from 1598 exemplifying the period style termed Mannerism, 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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