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Hendrik Goudt

(1585–1630, Utrecht)

Jupiter and Mercury in the Hut of Philemon and Baucis. Engraving after Adam Elsheimer. 22.2 x 23.2 cm. 1612. B. 6, Wurzbach 6, Dutuit 6, Hollstein 6 II.

Only seven prints by the Dutch draughtsman and engraver, Hendrick Goudt, have survived, all of which are engravings after paintings by the famous German painter, Adam Elsheimer (1578–1610), who was mainly active in Rome. Nevertheless, Goudt proved to be one of the most influential printmakers in the Netherlands in the 17th century. Although little is known about his early years and artistic training, his treatment of the chiaroscuro was groundbreaking and had a decisive influence on the use of light in Rembrandt’s printed oeuvre of the 1640s. This intimate depiction of a scene from Ovid’s Metamorphoses is one of the artist’s finest prints. Goudt has rendered the interior of the gloomy peasant hut with loving attention, the setting being transposed to a simple 17th century Dutch interior in which no detail is omitted. The subtle distribution of light gives the scene a great sense of atmosphere and enhances its visual impact. A very fine, crisp impression with fine plate tone and thread margins around the platemark.

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