The grotesques of Arent van Bolten

Update 8/2//2014: there is a complete version incl. images at

It’s been quite difficult to trace the provenance of the above print. It depicts two chimerical creatures, both with drooping breasts, watched over by three disembodied grotesque masks.

First, via Biomediale. Contemporary Society and Genomic Culture[1], a paper on chimaera phylogeny by Sven Drühl I found the unidentified print above. Searching some more, The Cabinet of the Solar Plexus[2] says that it is by Hendrick Goltzius.

However, the inexhaustable[3] Marinni contradicts this and attributed it to Arent van Bolten (c.1573 – c.1633)[4].

End of quest.

Two other favourites from that series include a grotesque holding a club spurning another grotesque[5] and two footed phalli stabbing each other while surrounded by two grotesque drooping masks that resemble an elongated scrotum[6], that last a real find for the metamorphic genitalia category.

Note the similarity to Les Songes Drolatiques[7] (1565) and the Varie Figuri Gobbi (1616, ‘Various Hunchbacked Figures’) by Jacques Callot.

PS. has easy access to all of the prints[8].