Title:The Massacre of the InnocentsArtist:Hendrik Goltzius Date:c. 1584Creation Place:Europe, NetherlandsCredit Line:The William M. Ladd Collection
Gift of Herschel V. Jones, 1916Accession Number:P.588
Few themes are as powerful as the gruesome Massacre of the Innocents, King Herod's campaign to slaughter every young boy in Bethlehem in the hope that he would also kill Jesus. Hendrick Goltzius's unfinished print displays his astonishing webs of curving lines, practically unparalleled in the history of engraving. The back and buttocks of the figure with a staff, probably Herod, mark the artist's first use of his trademark technique of engraving lines that swell and taper by turns.