Gallery of prints for sale

Tuesday 30 May 2023

Philips Galle’s engraving, “The Death of Sapphira”, 1575/82, after Maarten van Heemskerck

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

“The Death of Sapphira”, 1575 (BM date)/1582 (Rijksmuseum date), plate 7 from the series of 34 plates, “Acta Apostolorum” (Acts of the Apostles) after Maarten van Heemskerck’s (aka Martin Heemskerk; Maarten van Veen) (1498–1574) design, published by Philips Galle in Antwerp.

Engraving on laid paper with restorations on the upper and lower left corners. The sheet is trimmed with a narrow margin around the image borderline and text lines and backed with a support sheet.

Size: (sheet) 21.4 x 27.2 cm; (image borderline) 19.4 x 26.7 cm.

Inscribed in plate within the image borderline: “Mart. Heemskerck Inuentor. […] 7”

Lettered in plate below the image borderline in two columns of two lines: “Occidit infelix Ananias crimine falso,/ Supplicioq[ue] pari percussa est impia coniunx.// Nam proprium retinere magia qua[m] demere fas est:/ Non c[a]eleste potest aut falli, aut fallere numen. Ac.C” ("The wretched Ananias was killed by a false crime, And the impious spouse was equally smitten by supplication. For it is right to keep the magic which is one's own property: It is not possible for heaven to be deceived, or to deceive a god. Ac.C")

State ii (of iii)

TIB 5601.148:6 (Arno Dolders [ed.] 1987, “The Illustrated Bartsch: Netherlandish Artists: Philips Galle”, vol. 56, Supplement, New York, Abaris Books, p. 152, cat. no. [5601].148:6); New Hollstein (Maarten van Heemskerck) 400 (Ilja Veldman [comp.] 1993–94, “Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts ca. 1450–1700: Maarten van Heemskerck”, vol., 14, Roosendaal, Koninklijke Van Poll, pp. 98 & 104, cat. no. 400); New Hollstein (Philips Galle) 194 (Manfred Sellink [comp.] 2001, “Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts ca. 1450–1700: Philips Galle”, vol., 14, Rotterdam, Sound and Vision, pp. 83 & 101, cat. no. 194).

The Rijksmuseum offers the following description of this print: (transl.) “Apostle Peter rebukes Ananias and Sapphira, who had hidden some of their belongings so as not to share them with the Christian community. Because of Peter's words, both die. Their bodies are buried in the background. The print has a Latin caption and is part of a 34-part series on the subject of the Acts of the Apostles” (

The British Museum offers the following description of this print: “The death of Sapphira who has collapsed in the centre after being accused of fraud by St Peter, the Apostles in the upper right, after Heemskerk. 1575 Engraving” (

Condition: a richly inked and well-printed impression. The upper and lower right corners have been replenished, otherwise, the sheet is in a good condition with no significant stains and is laid upon an archival support sheet of millennium quality washi paper.

I am selling this fascinating and creatively inventive Renaissance period engraving showing St Peter condemning Saphhira and Ananias for their fraud in the foreground while in the background at left, Saphhira and Ananias are being buried, for the total cost of AU$307 (currently US$205.20/EUR185.66/GBP163.44 at the time of posting 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 marvellously strong impression—mindful that there are significant restoration issues with the upper and lower left corners—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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