Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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Demogorgon in the Cave of Eternity
  • Hendrick Goltzius
    born: Mülbracht, Seventeen Provinces (present-day Bracht-am-Niederrhein, Netherlands) ; died: Haarlem, Dutch Republic (present-day Netherlands) ; acti
  • Demogorgon in the Cave of Eternity, circa 1588
  • The Deities (first of series of seven)
  • Where object was made: Netherlands
  • chiaroscuro woodcut
  • Paper Type: wove
  • Sheet/Paper Dimensions: 349 x 262 mm trimmed
    Sheet/Paper Dimensions: 13 3/4 x 10 5/16 in trimmed
    Mat Dimensions: 20 x 16 in
  • Museum purchase: Helen Foresman Spencer Art Acquisition Fund
  • Not on display
  • 2011.0140
Catalogue raisonné

Chiaroscuro woodcut with a black line block, dark tones in olive green and midtones in light ochre yellow on cream paper. A beared male figure (identified as Demigorgon), sits in the lower half of the image, expelling a cloud of gas or smoke from his lips while writing on a tablet with his proper right hand and holding up a rod or wand in his left. To the left of this figure, floating in the air close to the picture plane is a serpent eating its own tail (identified as Orobos). In the middle ground along the CR edge of the image is a many-breasted female figure (identified as Artemis of Ephesus) sprays plant and animal forms from a clyster (also spelled Klistier), an early modern medical tool; above her is a cluster of clocks. A craggy landscape with knarled trees extends into the background, where a starry sky is visible.