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An image of Pluto by Hendrick Goltzius

Hendrick Goltzius

(Netherlands 1558 – 1617)

Media category
Materials used
chiaroscuro woodcut, line block in black and tone blocks in dark grey and pale grey

34.7 x 26.2 cm image (oval); 39.0 x 29.0 cm sheet (irreg.)

Signature & date
Signed l.c., [incised block] "HG.fe [artist's monogram]". Not dated.
Purchased 1983
Accession number
Not on display
Further information

Pluto, also called Hades, ruled over the land of the dead and very rarely allowed anyone to return from his kingdom. With his back turned to the viewer Pluto surveys the flaming scene. Next to him the five rivers of the underworld – Lethe, Styx, Cocytus, Phlegethon, and Acheron – are spilling from an urn. In the background the lost souls meet the three infernal judges.

Bibliography (2)

Nicolas Draffin, Piety and Paganism, 'Introduction', pg. 3-5, Sydney, 1991, 4, back cover (colour illus.), 15. no catalogue numbers

Renée Free, The Art Gallery of New South Wales collections, 'The Western Heritage, Renaissance to Twentieth Century', pg. 108-172, Sydney, 1994, 113 (colour illus.).

Exhibition history (4)

Piety and Paganism, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 13 Jul 1991–29 Sep 1991

Light from Shadow, the role of chiaroscuro in spatial imaging, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Paddington, 22 Oct 2003–29 Nov 2003

Old Europe: Prints & drawings from the collection 1500-1800, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 03 Jun 2006–06 Aug 2006

European prints and drawings 1500-1900, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 30 Aug 2014–02 Nov 2014

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