Jean-Luc Baroni Ltd

Jacob Matham

(Dutch, 1571–1631)

the martyrdom of a saint by jacob matham

Jacob Matham

The Martyrdom of a Saint

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Jacob Matham was the stepson and favourite pupil of Hendrick Goltzius, with whom he worked closely, engraving many of the latter’s drawings and paintings. This was a practice he continued throughout his career; indeed, of the more than four hundred engravings by Matham that are known, over a quarter were executed after designs by Goltzius. Matham’s earliest engravings date from the late 1580’s, and show the influence of the Haarlem Mannerist tradition, notably the drawings of both Bartholomeus Spranger and Jan Speeckaert. Perhaps inspired by his stepfather’s recent visit to Italy, Matham spent four years in Italy between 1593 and 1597, in the company of his fellow artist Frans Badens. Working mainly in Rome and Venice, he made drawings after the frescoes and paintings of the earlier generation of Italian artists, such as Palma Giovane, Tintoretto, Taddeo Zuccaro and others. Returning to Haarlem, he joined the local Guild of St. Luke in 1600, becoming its president in 1605. It was also around this time that Goltzius began to move away from printmaking to concentrate on painting, and Matham seems to have taken over the family’s print publishing business.