Requires Photography

Allegory of Transcience (Homo Bulla)

Hendrick Goltzius (Dutch, 1558–1617)

Catalogue Raisonné

Bartsch 010 (as anonymous, after Goltzius); Hollstein (Dutch & Flemish, vol. VIII) 110; Leesberg (New Hollstein, Dutch & Flemish, Goltzius, part II) 128 (I/I)


Sheet: 21.7 x 15.7 cm (8 9/16 x 6 3/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Europe, Prints and Drawings




Inscribed in plate, beneath monogram: 1594; on stone, lower center: QVIS EVADETS; in lower margin: Flos nouus, et verna fragrans argenteus aura/Marcescit subitò, perit, ali, perit illa venustas./Sic et vita hominum iam, nunc nascentibus, eheu, /Instar abit bullæ vaniqz elapsa vaporis. F. Estius [The fresh silvery flower, fragrant with the breath of spring, Withers once its beauty wanes; Likewise the life of man, already ebbing in the newborn babe, Vanishes like a bubble or like fleeting smoke.]


Signed in plate, lower right: HG [monogram]


Verso, collector's stamp in red: H.F.S. [Henry F. Sewall; Lugt 1309]; purple Parker Collection MFA stamp with accession number in ink: 7301 [Lugt 1870]


Mid 19th century, Reverend John Burleigh James (b. 1811 - d. 1891), Knowlbury Park, Shropshire, England; 1877, his collection dispersed Sotheby, Wilkinson, & Hodge. Henry Foster Sewell (b. 1816 - d. 1896; Lugt 1309), New York; November, 1897, purchased by the MFA through the Harvey D. Parker Fund. (Accession Date: October 21, 1897)

Credit Line

Harvey D. Parker Collection—Harvey Drury Parker Fund