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In line with decisions made by the National Cabinet as communicated by the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, the Art Gallery of New South Wales is currently closed but will reopen to the public on June 1. The Gallery will be observing strict social distancing and hygiene measures to protect the health of all visitors and staff and minimise the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the State. More information

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Title

The dragon devouring the companions of Cadmus

1588


Artists

Hendrick Goltzius

Netherlands

1558 - 1617

after Cornelis van Haarlem

Netherlands

1562 - 1638


About

Goltzius was the greatest exponent of Dutch Mannerism, renowned in the Netherlands and elsewhere for his technical skill and virtuosity. This gruesome scene was inspired by the story of Cadmus in Ovid’s ‘Metamorphoses’. Cadmus was sent by the Delphic Oracle to follow a cow and build a city at the first place it decided to lie down. The cow eventually collapsed at the future site of Thebes. When Cadmus sent his men to fetch water, they were killed by a dragon guarding the spring. Cadmus then slew the dragon, as seen in the background. On the advice of the goddess Athena he sowed the dragon’s teeth in the soil, from which armed men sprung up. Five of them became the ancestors of the Thebans.


Details


Date

1588


Media category

Print


Materials used

engraving


Edition

i of 4 states


Dimensions

26.0 x 30.7 cm sheet


Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Credit

European Art Collection Benefactors' Fund 2010


Location

Not on display


Accession number

517.2010


Artist information

Hendrick Goltzius

Works in the collection

7

Artist information

after Cornelis van Haarlem

Works in the collection

1


Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history


Provenance


R.E. Lewis & Daughter, Original Prints, San Rafael/California/United States of America, Purchased by the AGNSW from R.E. Lewis & Daughter, Original Prints 2010


Referenced in 1 publication

Bibliography


Walter L Strauss, Hendrik Goltzius, 1558-1617: the complete engravings and woodcuts, New York, 1977. no.261