Goltzius’s only dated woodcut illustrates an episode from one of the twelve labours of Hercules: Hercules capturing the cattle of Geryon. Cacus, the son of Vulcan – god of fire, stole eight of Hercules’ cattle and hid them in his cave. He then blocked the entrance by chaining a boulder across the mouth. Hercules pursued Cacus, broke into the cave and gave battle. Goltzius shows Hercules at his moment of triumph, his club above his head, about to slay the fire-breathing thief.
Chiaroscuro woodcut, line block in black and 2 tone blocks in ochre and brown
iii of 4 states
41.6 x 33.6 cm trimmed just outside border
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Gift of Nicholas Batchelor 2013. Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program.
Not on display
Shown in 1 exhibition
European prints and drawings 1500-1900, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 30 Aug 2014–02 Nov 2014
Nicholas Batchelor, Sydney/New South Wales/Australia, Gift of Nicholas Batchelor 2013. By descent. The donor, Nicholas Batchelor, was given the print by his grandfather, himself a descendent of the popular English Victorian artist Myles Birket Foster (1825-1899). It is entirely possible, indeed probable, that the print passed down the family line from Birket Foster
Referenced in 2 publications
F.W.H. Hollstein, Dutch and Flemish etchings, engravings and woodcuts c.1450-1700, Amsterdam, 1949, vol.III, 122. no.373
Walter L Strauss, Hendrik Goltzius, 1558-1617: the complete engravings and woodcuts, New York, 1977, vol.II, 696-99. no.403