Inscribed at lower center on paper cartouche, "Ioanni Sadelero Serenis.mi Ducis Bavarie / Chalcographo, amico unice dilecto, Nouem/ hasce Musas HGoltzius amicitie ergo D.D"; at lower left, "Ao 1592"; at lower right, "HGoltzius Invent. et Sculptor."; in lower margin, "Prima characteres, Vocumq[_] elementa notanit, / Quoq[_] Deûm laudes, et quo prelustria facta / Congruat Heroum d[e]scribere carmime, prima Calliope e docuit clar[_] celeberrima cetus. 62 / F. Estius."
Designed and engraved by Goltzius, one of the greatest Dutch printmakers and draftsmen of the sixteenth century, this print belongs to a series of the Nine Muses that he dedicated to his friend Jan Sadeler, the court engraver to the Duke of Bavaria in 1592. As a series, the Muses clearly represent the effects of Goltizus's journey to Rome on his representation of the human body. Compared to his earlier work, these figures display less contorted, elongated, and dynamic poses; instead, their regular proportions and heavy drapery convey an air of calm grace and stability. It has been suggested that Calliope's form recalls the second-century Roman marble sculpture of the same subject in the Vatican Museum (Strauss 1997, p. 536), and one wonders whether all of the Muses were in fact influenced by other sculptural models as well. Although their passive poses seem repetitive, closer inspection reveals a variety of expression and gesture that differentiate each Muse. This state of the prints was printed for the 1719 edition of Gerard de Lairesse's Principles of Drawing. (Andaleeb Banta)