Support: Cream(3) laid paper
Sheet: 47 x 35.1 cm (18 1/2 x 13 13/16 in.); Image: 46.1 x 34.9 cm (18 1/8 x 13 3/4 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1994.85
Catalogue raisonné: Hollstein 9 (VIII.5)
The series of six prints, The Life of the Virgin, is also known as the Master Engravings, an acknowledgment of Goltzius's significant achievement. Each of the six engravings evokes a different artistic style, imitating but not copying works by Albrecht Dürer (1471–1526), Federico Barocci (about 1535–1612), and others. An engraved dedication to Wilhelm V, Duke of Bavaria, appears in the lower left corner. Written by poet Cornelis Schoneus (1540–1611), it praises the versatility and skill of Hendrik Goltzius. The inscription across the bottom that refers to the subject of the print reads: "Set aside your fear, Virgin, I appear to you as a messenger sent from the heavenly vault: undamaged shall you give birth, to the astonishment of nature, following the prophecies sung by the ancient prophets, and the whole world will worship you as the mother of god."
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