"Euterpen calami, et genialis Tibia honestat..." ("Euterpe the genial reeds and flute honor...") by Hendrik Goltzius, 1592. Dayton C. Miller Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress.
This is number 6 in a series of nine images of the Muses created by Goltzius in 1592. Euterpe is the muse of lyric song. She plays a transverse flute. A shawm and two books lie at her feet. The verses beneath each image in the series are by Franco van Est (Franco Estius). The lines of verse beneath Euterpe may be translated as: "Euterpe the reeds and genial flute honor / And with what verse the Pythians are accustomed to be sung / She wanders through the hills and vales of Aganippe / Sweet in harmony and famous for learned Mathematics."
About the Artist
Hendrik Goltzius, draughtsman, engraver, print publisher, and painter, 1558-1617
Hendrik Goltzius was a Dutch draughtsman, engraver, print publisher and painter. He was born in Mülbracht in 1558 and died in Haarlem in 1617. His earliest work was in the Mannerist style after Bartholomäus Spranger but, after a trip to Italy in 1590, his work showed the classicizing influence of late Renaissance art. He was taught by Dirck Volkertsz. Coornhert, a humanist printmaker, and he was a friend of the Latinists, Franco Estius (born ca. 1545) and Cornelis Schoneaus, both of whom provided inscriptions for his engravings. Goltzius was an extremely fine draughtsman and worked in many techniques - metalpoint, pen and ink drawings, and red and black chalks. Many of these drawings were portraits, but he also did mythological or allegorical subjects as well as studies of animals. Many of his drawings were engraved by his students, Jacques de Gheyn, Jacob Matham, or Jan Saenredam.
As an engraver, Goltzius had a virtuoso technique and was capable of imitating the styles of Dürer and Lucas van Leyden, for example. Goltzius designed and engraved his own prints, but he also made engravings after classical statuary in Rome, and made reproductive prints after paintings and drawings of artists such as Raphael, Palma Giovane and Annibale Carracci. Besides portraits, he also produced many works having mythological or allegorical subjects. One of his most famous engravings was of the Farnese Hercules of ca. 1592. He also made a few chiaroscuro woodcuts which were quite innovative. In 1577, Goltzius moved to Haarlem, married in 1579, and opened a printing house there in 1582. Except for his journey to Italy in 1590-1591, Goltzius lived and worked in Haarlem until his death in 1617. Though Goltzius turned more to painting after 1600, he is known as one of the finest engravers of the late 16th and early 17th centuries. His engravings were dispersed widely throughout Europe and beyond, and were enormously influential.
- See Hendrik Goltzius 1558-1617: The Complete Engravings and Woodcuts, edited by Walter L. Strauss. 2 vols. New York: Abaris Books, 1977. LC call number: NE670.G65A4. For Euterpe, see vol. 2, pp. 546-547; for the entire series of nine Muses, see pp. 536-553. [back to article]
- This translation is courtesy of David Shive, Washington, DC, June 2004. [back to article]
- The biographical information provided here is based on a long article on Goltzius' life and work by E. K. J. Reznick, "Hendrick Goltzius," in Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. It includes sources for further reading. See also a short summary of Goltzius' life and work by Richard Godfrey, "Hendrik Goltzius," in the Oxford Companion to Western Art via Oxford Art Online (both by subscription only). [back to article]