About this artwork

Dürer’s ‘The Circumcision’ inspired Hendrick Goltzius. Around 1600 Goltzius’s fame rivalled that of Dürer and in his version of ‘The Circumcision’ he deliberately challenged the German master. Karel van Mander, artist, biographer and close friend of Goltzius, gives an account of the artist’s technical skill: Goltzius transferred the scene to the Brewers’ Chapel of Saint Bavo in Haarlem, included his self-portrait and monogram and executed the print in the style of Dürer. Afterwards, he burned out his mark and image, repaired and artificially aged the impressions deceiving colleagues and collectors all over Europe, accepting them as an unknown engraving by the Nuremberg master. Only after producing a fresh impression did Goltzius’s authorship become clear and he was praised for his mastery.

Updated before 2020

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