Metgezellen Van Cadmus Door Een Draak Verslonden by Hendrick Goltzius
Metgezellen Van Cadmus Door Een Draak Verslonden by Hendrick Goltzius

Metgezellen Van Cadmus Door Een Draak Verslonden

Metgezellen van Cadmus door een draak verslonden (Companions of Cadmus Devoured by a Dragon) c1588 by Dutch Engraver, Draftsman, Painter and Print Publisher Hendrick Goltzius (1558 – 1617), after a Painting by Dutch Golden Age Painter Cornelis Cornelisz van Haarlem (1562 – 1638)

This engraving depicts a powerful scene of warriors doing battle against dragons and serpents, with many of the warriors losing the battle, as can be seen by the torn off heads and bodies that litter the landscape.

In the last epic act of survival a companion of Cadmus, in a last ditch effort tries to fight back while a dragon sinks its teeth into the flesh of his face, while it devours his entire face with one bite while clawing on the corpse of another dead warrior.

This is a retouched digital art old masters reproduction of a public domain image.

Info Below Derived From Wikipedia.org

Hendrick was born near Venlo in Bracht or Millebrecht, a village then in the Duchy of Julich, his family moved to Duisburg when he was 3 years old and when he came of age studied painting on glass under his father for a number of years.

He then study under the Dutch Polymath Dirck Volckertszoon Coornhert (1522 – 1590), with whom he studied engraving.

In 1577 he then moved with Coornhert to Haarlem in the Dutch Republic, where he would remain for the rest of his life; and for a while in Haarlem he would work with Philip Galle (1537 – 1612), to engrave a set of prints of the history of Lucretia.

Side Note: Lucretia; anglicized as Lucrece, was a noblewoman in ancient Rome, whose rape by Sextus Tarquinius (Tarquin) and subsequent suicide precipitated a rebellion that overthrew the Roman monarchy and led to the transition of Roman government from a kingdom to a republic.

Due to a fire injury to his right hand, that Hendrick suffered as a baby causing it to be malformed, he became adept due to this injury to holding the burin (sharp engraving tool) as he was forced to to draw with the large muscles of his arm and shoulder.

Hendrick was a master of the “swelling line” and also a pioneer of the “dot and lozenge” technique, where dots are placed in the middle of lozenge shaped spaces created by cross-hatching to further refine tonal shading.

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