Gallery of prints for sale

Saturday 3 July 2021

Pieter Nolpe’s etching, “Hercules Unifies the Split French Empire”, 1638, after Nicolaes Cornelisz. Moyaert

Pieter Nolpe (1613/14 - c.1652/3)

“Hercules Unifies the Split French Empire” (“Hercules smeedt het gespleten Franse Rijk tot een eenheid” [Rijksmuseum title]), 1638, after Nicolaes Cornelisz. Moyaert (aka Claes Cornelisz Moeyaert;  Nicolaes Cornelisz. Moeyart) (1590/1600–1655), plate 12 from the series of 16 plates, “Festivities at the visit of Maria de' Medici to Amsterdam in 1638” published in Amsterdam by Johannes Blaeu (Joan Blaeu; Johannes Willemszoon Blaeu; Johan Blaeu; Jan Willemsz Blaeu) (1596–1673) and Cornelis Blaeu (aka Cornelius Blaeu) (1610–1648) in 1638 as a folded insert between pages 48 and 49 in Kaspar van Baerle’s (aka Caspar van Barlaeus) (1584–1648), “Medicea hospes, sive Descriptio pvblicæ gratvlationis: qua Serenissimam, Augustissimamque reginam, Mariam de Medicis, excepit Senatvs popvlvsqve Amstelodamensis.” offers an online view of this print in its context in Van Baerle’s publication:

Etching on laid paper with a small margin around the platemark, backed with a support sheet.

Size: (sheet) 32.1 x 41.2 cm; (plate) 30 x 39 cm; (image borderline) 29 x 38.3 cm.

Inscribed in plate within the image borderline: (lower right) “CL [ligature initials] M. Inv:”

State iii? (of iii) Note that plate number (“12”) signifying state iii seems to be in pencil rather than inscribed in the plate suggesting that this impression is from an earlier state or the number has been erased. Note that the Orn Cat II does not make a distinction between states ii and iii.

Orn Cat II 10050 (Peter Fuhring; transl. from the Dutch by Jennifer Kilian and Katy Kist 2004, “Ornament prints in the Rijksmuseum II: the seventeenth century”, Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum Sound and Vision, vol. 3, p. 71, cat. no. 10050); Hollstein Dutch 102.

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:

“Plate 12: Allegory on the Discord in France; Henri IV as Hercules repairing the broken globe representing 'Gallia' by forging a band around it, Minerva and Mars at left assisting him, Marie de Medici standing at right, a female personification of France at left, the Olympian Gods onlooking from the clouds above; after Nicolaes Moyaert; illustration to Caspar Barlaeus' ‘Medicea Hospes’ (Amsterdam: 1638) Etching” (

See also the description offered by the Rijksmuseum:

Condition: a strong impression with small margins around the platemark (approx. 1 cm) and laid upon an archival support sheet of millennium quality washi paper which has flattened the publication centrefold so that it is almost invisible. The upper right corner of the margin is lost and there are are fractures to the left margin, otherwise the image area is in a very good condition with no holes, stains or foxing.

I am selling this remarkable etching showing Henry IV cast in a tableau vivant as Hercules repairing the world that had been broken in halves (see my previous listing which shows the world as a broken globe and Marie de Medici pleading for the gods to help), for the total cost of AU$354 (currently US$266.55/EUR224.51/GBP192.78 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 marvellous amalgam of classical antiquity with politics and the Baroque Age—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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