Skip to content


An image of Proserpine by Hendrick Goltzius

Hendrick Goltzius

(Netherlands 1558 – 1617)

Other titles:
Media category
Materials used
chiaroscuro woodcut, line block in black and tone blocks in olive green and tan

34.7 x 26.2 cm image (oval); 39.4 x 29.0 cm sheet (irreg.)

Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Purchased 1983
Accession number
Temporary exhibitions gallery
Further information

Following his journey to Italy in 1590-91 Goltzius started making chiaroscuro woodcuts in the tradition of such Italians as Ugo da Carpi and Andrea Andreani, introducing this technique to the northern Netherlands. This print of Persephone (Proserpine) is one of a series of deities executed in woodcut about 1594, all of them corresponding in size and format. Persephone was the daughter of Zeus and Demeter. While gathering flowers on a hillside in Sicily she was kidnapped by Pluto and taken down to the underworld to be his wife.

Bibliography (2)

Nicolas Draffin, Piety and Paganism, 'Introduction', pg. 3-5, Sydney, 1991, 4, cover (colour illus.), 15.

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 (3)

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

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