Jul 25, 2016

The Great Hercules or 'Knollenman'

The Great Hercules or 'Knollenman'


Hendrick Goltzius

(Dutch, 1558–1617)


Support: Cream(3) laid paper

Sheet: 56.3 x 40.1 cm (22 3/16 x 15 13/16 in.); Image: 54.2 x 40 cm (21 5/16 x 15 3/4 in.)

Gift of The Print Club of Cleveland 1995.38

Catalogue raisonné: Hollstein 143 (VIII); New Hollstein XXIV.pt. 1.257.156, state I/II

State: I/II



The exaggerated and unnatural musculature of this figure may suggest that the Netherlandish artist Hendrick Goltzius had never studied a real human body. Indeed, he pulled from a mixture of sources including classical sculpture, Italian art, and his imagination. Goltzius ushered in Mannerism in Northern Europe, a style that featured exaggerated forms and metaphorical and allegorical subject matter. Known for his skill with an engraving burin, he transformed the technique, creating engraved lines that taper and swell to emphasize volume and form to extreme effect.

See also
PR - Engraving
Type of artwork: 

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