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This sheet is the only known preparatory drawing for an important group of engravings depicting military figures designed by Hendrick Goltzius between 1582 and 1600. Here Goltzius depicted a military officer with a confident stance and direct gaze as he staunchly holds a spear in his right hand and carries his sword on his hip. Details such as the fluttering scarf and the feather-trimmed hat enliven the image. The background portrays the deeds of the protagonist, including a scene with troops on the right, and two other officers, perhaps shown training with spears, on the left. Such imagery usually promoted militaristic values such as bravery in the period, as the Netherlands underwent continuous warfare with Spain. Goltzius's technique includes fine pen strokes and delicate brown washes combined with red chalk additions on the face and hands, which add a degree of naturalism and finish to the drawing.

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Details

  • Title: Standing Officer Holding a Boar's Spear
  • Creator: Hendrick Goltzius (Dutch, 1558–1617)
  • Date Created: 1586
  • Physical Dimensions: Sheet: 20.6 x 15.6 cm (8 1/8 x 6 1/8 in.)
  • Provenance: G. Braamkamp, Amsterdam;, his sale, P. Yver, Amsterdam, 29 February 1768, no. 265., Van Der Hoog, Amsterdam., his sale, Amsterdam,10 April 1780, no. 128, Sold, P. Yver, Amsterdam, 30 October 1780, no. 3., Juda van Benjamin Senior, Amsterdam, his sale, Jan Willem Smit, Amsterdam, 4 November 1782, no. 27, John 2nd Lord Northwick (1770-1859), London, his sale, "remaining portion of" his collection, Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, London, 5 July 1921, no. 79, Sir Robert Witt (1872-1952), London (Lugt 2228b), Dr. and Mrs. Frances Springell (1898-1974), Portinscale, Cumberland (Lugt 1049a), sold Sotheby Mak van Waay B.V., Amsterdam, 3 May 1976, lot 93, with Hazlitt, Gooden & Fox Ltd., London, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Type: Drawing
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1994.195
  • Medium: Pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash, red chalk with traces of white opaque watercolor, over black chalk, on paper; traces of transfer
  • Inscriptions: signed, lower center, in brown ink: [artist's monogram, retouched: HG]; verso of secondary support, upper right in graphite(?): £65; upper left, in graphite: 207420; upper left, in graphite: 35[circled]; center, in graphite: Exh. / Boymans Mus. Rotterdam / Hendrick Goltzius als Tekenaar cat 81; lower right, in graphite: [illegible] / 10; lower left, in graphite: 3
  • Fun Fact: This military officer brandishes a type of spear used for boar hunting, in which the two lugs on the blade were meant to keep the animal from pushing its way up the spear to attack the hunter.
  • Department: Drawings
  • Culture: Netherlands, Haarlem, 16th century
  • Credit Line: Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund
  • Collection: DR - Dutch
  • Accession Number: 1994.195

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