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Friday 31 May 2019

Philips Galle‘s engraving, “The Slaughter of the Fattened Calf", 1562, after Maarten van Heemskerck

Philips Galle (aka Philippe Galle; Philippus Gallaeus) (1537–1612)

“The Slaughter of the Fattened Calf", 1562, plate 5 from the series of six numbered engravings, “The Parable of the Prodigal Son”, after Maarten van Heemskerck (1498–1574), published by Hieronymus Cock (aka Jérome Cock) (c1510–1570) in Antwerp.

Engraving printed with a warm black ink on fine laid paper trimmed with narrow margins around the image borderline and below the text lines and backed with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 21 x 25.4 cm; (image borderline) 19.7 x 25 cm.
Inscribed on plate within the image borderline: (lower left) “H Cock excu 5”.
Lettered on plate below the image borderline: (centre) "Pater illum ... sunt"; (right) "MHemskerck inuen- / P. galle fe."
State: ii (of iv) before the change of publisher from Hieronymus Cock to Theodoor Galle (see the BM copy of a state iii impression BM no. 1955,1008.15).

TIB 5601.031:5 (Walter L Strauss & Arno Dolders [eds.] 1987, “The Illustrated Bartsch: Netherlandish Artists: Philips Galle”, vol. 56, Supplement, New York, Abaris Books, p. 118, cat. no. .031:5); New Hollstein Dutch 156-2(4) (Galle) (Manfred Sellink [comp. & ed.] 2001, “The New Hollstein: Dutch and Flemish etchings, engravings and woodcuts 1450–1700: Philips Galle”, Part 2, Rotterdam, Sound and Vision, p. 28, cat. 152–157); New Hollstein Dutch 364 (Heemskerck) (Ilja M Veldman 1993–94, “The New Hollstein: Dutch and Flemish etchings, engravings and woodcuts 1450-1700: Maarten van Heemskerck”, Roosendaal, Koninklijke Van Poll, cat. 360–365); Riggs 1977 126 (Timothy Riggs 1977, “Hieronymus Cock, Printmaker and Publisher”, New York, Garland Press, 1977).

See also Barbara Haeger’s journal article, “Philips Galle's engravings after Maarten van Heemskerck's ‘Parable of the Prodigal Son’" in “Oud Holland”, vol. 102, no. 2, pp. 127–140:

The Rijksmuseum offers the following description of this print:
(transl.) “In honor of the return of the prodigal son, a fattened calf is slaughtered. The prodigal son dances with the guests in the courtyard. A long table is ready for the banquet.”

See also the description offered by the British Museum

Condition: richly inked and near faultless lifetime impression in excellent condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, stains or foxing). The sheet is trimmed near the image borderline with the text line retained and is laid onto a support of conservator’s fine archival/millennium quality washi paper.

I am selling this superb lifetime impression of this rare engraving, executed only 21 years after Michelangelo completed his fresco, “The Last Judgement” and 93 years before Rembrandt executed his famous oil painting, “The Slaughtered Ox” (1655)—perhaps this print even inspired Rembrandt!—for the total cost of AU$272 (currently US$180.53/EUR160.58/GBP139.47 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world (but not, of course, any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries).

If you are interested in purchasing this fascinating print illustrating the verses from Luke 15:11–32 where the son who had squandered half of his father’s estate returned in shame only to be received by his father with the excited exclamation: “Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” (NIV), please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold

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