The Four Disgracers  

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The Four Disgracers (1588) is a series of four tondo engravings by Hendrick Goltzius (Netherlandish, 1558–1617), after Cornelisz van Haarlem (Netherlandish, 1562–1638) depicting four gods who were punished for their hubris: Tantalus, Icarus, Phaethon, and Ixion.

The engravings date from the brief collaboration between Goltzius and the painter Cornelisz van Haarlem.

"Although he worked from Cornelisz's designs, Goltzius should be given just as much credit as the painter for the striking nature of these scenes. His bold, meshed, swelling strokes lend the figures a powerful presence and masterfully evoke the reflections of light and shadow on their rippling muscles. The sense of confusion surrounding the falls of Ixion and Tantalus into their hellish surroundings is heightened by repeated patterns of swirling lines. The four seemingly varied poses are in fact more or less the same pose (one leg bent down, the other raised; one arm raised, the other lowered) viewed from different angles.[1]


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