Gallery Joseph Fach GmbH - Oberursel im Taunus - Germany - since 1928

Gallery for paintings, watercolours, drawings, and graphic works of art - original artworks from the 16th to 20th century.

Joseph Fach GmbH - Feinbergweg 7 - 61440 Oberursel im Taunus - Germany - Tel.: ++ 49 (0) 6171 20 74 92 - Fax: ++ 49 (0) 6171 20 74 93
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Matham, J. - Three Graces - A7714

Matham, J. - Three GracesMatham, J. - Three Graces
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Jacob Matham
1571 – Haarlem – 1631

The three Graces: Aglaea, Euphrosyne, and Thalia.

Copper engraving, 1587, after H. Goltzius, on handmade paper with watermark: coat of arms with the ligatured monogram JS. 30,2:21,5 cm.

Provenance: Collection G, not in Lugt.

Literature: Krystof, Fig. 20, p 228, page 8 of the Ornatus series; Bartsch 285; Hollstein 244, I (of III). – Before the address of Visscher.

Brilliant and strong impression, with a roughly marked platemark and some plate-tone, tiny margins.

Weak diagonal fold, two tiny pinholes, minor damages at lower left corner, otherwise excellent condition.

The red chalk drawing by H. Goltzius (1558-1617) after which this engraving was made today is owned by the print room ('Kupferstichkabinett') in Berlin today. The image belongs to a series with eight prints depicting mythological and allegorical motifs which thematically go together just loosely.

Goltzius developed a special technique to reproduce the 'colours' of a painting. In 1582 he opened successfully an art college for engravers in Haarlem. Goltzius was highly regarded by Jacob Matham, a stepson and pupil, who called him 'an ideal of a great spirit and mind' in the inscription of an engraving with Goltzius' portrait, which was published in 1616 (compare: Doris Krystof, Werben für die Kunst. Bildliche Kunsttheorie und das Rhetorische in den Kupferstichen von Hendrik Goltzius, Dissertation, Cologne 1993, p 18).

The Three Graces, minor goddesses of charm, beauty, nature, human creativity, and fertility and  usually considered daughters of Zeus, belong to the best-liked motifs in visual arts, mostly shown naked, touching or holding each other, and sometimes accompanied by Venus, Bacchus or Apollo.