Portrait of Dirck Volckertsz Coornhert



Hendrick Goltzius, Dutch, 1558-1617


Portrait of Dirck Volckertsz Coornhert


ca. 1591-1592


20 1/2 x 16 5/16 in. (52.1 x 41.4 cm)

Object Number



The monumental size and extremely lifelike quality of this portrait of Coornhert (1522-1590), the master who taught Goltzius the art of engraving, are rivaled in this period only by the portrait of Goltzius engraved by his pupil Jan Muller. While the inscription on the oval frame states that the portrait was "painted from life" (ad vivum depictus), the engraving itself was executed only after Coornhert's death. It was an act of homage and remembrance from student to master.

The portrait and its oval border were engraved on one copper plate, while the decorative surround was printed from another. The objects in each corner of the frame represent Coornhert's talents and accomplishments as an engraver and lover of painting, as a musician, as a swordsman, and as a humanist scholar. The motto in Dutch at the top center, "Weet, of rust" (Know, or be still) was Coornhert's own. The Latin inscription at the bottom praises Coornhert's love of truth and freendom as expressed in his writings.
Border inscription: Theodorus Cornhertius, ad vivum depictus et aeri incisus ab H. goltzio/ Natus Amstelredami anno MDXXII. Denatus Goudea anno MDXC.

Credit Line

Gift of Margaret and Charlie Shufeldt in honor of Dr. Walter S. Melion


Old Masters: Highlights of the Works on Paper Collection, Michael C. Carlos Museum, August 15 - December 6, 2009
MCCM Newsletter, September - November, 2009.


© Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University. Photo by Bruce M. White, 2008.
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On View



Hendrick Goltzius, Dutch, 1558-1617, “Portrait of Dirck Volckertsz Coornhert,” Michael C. Carlos Museum Collections Online, accessed April 16, 2024, https://digitalprojects.carlos.emory.edu/items/show/7590.


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