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The Fall of Phaeton

Artist:
Hendrick Goltzius (Netherlandish, Mühlbracht 1558–1617 Haarlem)
Date:
late 16th–early 17th century
Medium:
Pen and brown ink, brown wash, heightened with white (slightly oxidized); brown ink framing lines; incised for transfer
Dimensions:
6 1/2 x 9 15/16 in. (16.5 x 25.3 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1992
Accession Number:
1992.376
Not on view
Phaeton, who recklessly drove Apollo's chariot through the heavens, tumbles from the shattered vehicle toward the earth. Zeus holds high a thunderbolt as he puts an end to Phaeton's rampage. This is one of at least fifty-two designs Goltzius made for an engraved series of Ovid's Metamorphoses. The engravings for the series do not display the virtuosity of his autograph works and were no doubt made by members of his workshop.
The drawing exemplifies a chiaroscuro technique that Goltzius had perfected for print designs by 1588. It allowed him not only to communicate clearly to the engraver the passages of dark and light, but also to produce very finished drawings that were no doubt sold as individual works of art once they had served their purpose in the workshop.
Signature: At lower left, monogrammed "HG" in pen and brown ink

Marking: Verso: unidentified collector's number
Private Collection, drawing acquired before 1954; Private Collection, unidentified collector's number "32"; his wife's sale, Christie's, Amsterdam, November 28, 1992, lot 519
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," February 8, 1999–May 3, 1999.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," October 20, 2008–January 11, 2009.

E. K. J. Reznicek Die Zeichnungen von Hendrick Goltzius. Utrecht, 1961, cat. no. 99a.

Christie's, Amsterdam Dutch, Flemish and German Old Master Drawings [Sale cat: November 28, 1992]. 1992, cat. no. 519, ill.

"Curatorial Reports and Departmental Accessions: Drawings." in Annual Report of the Trustees of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, July 1, 1992 - June 30, 1993. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 123, New York, 1993, p. 23.

Suzanne Boorsch, William M. Griswold, Helen Bobritzky Mules, Nadine Orenstein, Colta Ives "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 1992-1993: Renaissance and Baroque Europe - Europe 1700-1900." in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. 51, no. 2, New York, Autumn 1993, p. 33, ill.

E. K. J. Reznicek "Drawings by Hendrick Goltzius, Thirty Years Later: a Supplement to the 1961 catalogue raisonne." in Master Drawings. vol. 31, no. 3, 1993, cat. no. K99a, fig. no. 26, p. 234, ill.



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The Fourth Day (Dies IV), from the series The Creation of the World

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The Third Day ( Dies III), from the series The Creation of the World

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