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Goltzius image

Hendrik Goltzius (1558–1617)
Young Man Holding a Skull and a Tulip, 1614
Pen and brown ink
Signed with monogram and dated at upper left, in brown ink, HG (interlaced) / 1614
Lettered by the artist at right center, in brown ink, QVIS EVADET / NEMO
18 1/8 x 13 15/16 inches (460 x 354 mm)
Gift of J. P. Morgan, Jr., 1924; III, 145
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This is among the last and most spectacular examples of Goltzius's Federkunststücke, or drawings imitating engravings; the artist's crippled hand and deteriorating eyesight challenged him in the graphic realm and prevented him from engraving after 1600. The robust young man holding a skull illustrates a vanitas theme in the form of a fantasy portrait. The Latin inscription, which translates "Who escapes? No man," and the hourglass in the upper right are reminders of the transience of existence.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.