Hendrick Goltzius reached his peak as a printmaker in the mid-1590s. His superb engravings were much sought-after in the young Dutch Republic and further afield. Like his illustrious predecessors Albrecht Dürer and Lucas van Leyden, Goltzius expressed his artistic ambitions in scenes from the Bible, but he also illustrated episodes from classical mythology, often choosing erotic subjects. This engraving of the giant Hercules Farnese (presently in the Naples Museum) is based on a statue Goltzius saw in Italy. In the picture he has included the portrait of two (presumably) travelling companions who are looping up at the statue of Hercules in awe. Goltzius is seen as a transitionals artist between the Netherlands mannerist style of the 16th century and the Netherlands realism of the 17th century.