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Kettering Publishes on 'The Friendship Portraits of Hendrick Goltzius'

January 25, 2013

Alison Kettering, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Art History, has just published, "The Friendship Portraits of Hendrick Goltzius," in Face Book, Studies on Dutch and Flemish Portraiture of the 16th-18th Centuries. The essay examines a group of large, colored chalk portrait drawings of fellow artists created by the Dutch artist Hendrick Goltzius during his trip to Italy in 1590-1591. It argues that these portrait drawings were of pivotal importance in his move from engraving to full-fledged oil painting.

The article discusses how through these, Goltzius constructed a new identity for himself as a master of color rather than line. As for function, the drawings served as friendship portraits, produced on his own initiative, as reminders for himself of the personal encounters he experienced on his trip or as girts to these colleagues. His new pictorial mode aligned with a revised conception of portraiture, one that he now defined in terms of strengthened social bonds.

Written by Anna Versen '14