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Maker(s):Goltzius, Hendrick
Culture:Dutch (1558-1617)
Title:The Holy Family with John the Baptist as a Child, from the 'Life of the Virgin' series
Date Made:1593
Materials:engraving on laid paper mounted on cardboard
Measurements:Image: 46.4 cm x 35 cm; 18 1/4 in x 13 3/4 in
Accession Number:  AC 1979.46.6
Credit Line:Purchase from Frederick J. Woodbridge (Class of 1921) Memorial Fund
Museum Collection:  Mead Art Museum at Amherst College

Plate 6 from the series of six (1593-1594). Four lines of Latin attributed to Cornelius Schonaeus.

Label Text:
Marginal Latin text, anonymous:

Praecursor Domini lactantis ab ubere matris / Blanditur puero puer, et colludit amice, / Quem praecognovit saliens utero abditus, hunc et / Indice monstravit digito crescentibus annis.

The herald of the Lord, who is suckled at his mother’s breast, like a child, strokes the child and plays sweetly with him; the baby whom he recognized, leaping up, while he was still in his mother’s womb, he also pointed to with his finger when they were a little older.

Goltzius based this print upon two different reproductive engravings by Cornelis Cort after paintings by Federico Barocci. Active in Italy, Cort worked at the behest of many great masters of the 16th century, including Titian and Muziano, who prized Cort’s ability to transform their painterly effects into print. His engraving of 1577 after Barocci’s "Madonna del Gatto" provided Goltzius his source for the pose of the Virgin and facial types, which he acknowledged with the inclusion of a cat on the windowsill at the left. Goltzius derived the landscape setting, however, from Cort’s "Rest on the Flight into Egypt" of 1575, also after Barocci. Barocci’s original "Rest on the Flight" is now lost, although its popularity encouraged him to make several variants, one of which survives in the church of S. Stefano in Piobbico. Cort’s curved and swelling lines coupled with a stippling technique inspired Goltzius’s own engraving style.

(Susan Anderson, Ph.D., interim Mellon Coordinator of College Programs, 2009)

plates; figures; children; crosses; religion; Christianity; engravings; prints

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