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Tuesday 13 June 2023

Engraving from the circle of Maarten van Heemskerck, “David with Goliath's Head Before Saul”, c1556, after Van Heemskerck

Unidentified printmaker from the circle of Maarten van Heemskerck (aka Martin Heemskerk) (1498–1574)

“David with Goliath's Head Before Saul” (National Gallery title) (aka “Abner Presenting David with Goliath's Head Before Saul” [MET title]; “David Shows Goliath's Head to Saul” [Rijksmuseum title]), c1556, plate 8 from the series of ten plates (New Hollstein 94–103), “The Story of David and Saul” after Maarten van Heemskerck, published in Antwerp by Hieronymus Cock (aka Jérome Cock) (c1517/18–1570) and later by Theodoor Galle (aka Theodor Galle; Dirck Galle) (1571–1633).

Engraving on laid paper trimmed around the image borderline with a narrow margin and loss of the lower text (“ABNER INTRODUXIT DAVID CORAM SAULE, CAPUT PHILISTEI HABENTEM IN MANU SUA 1 RE 17”), backed with a support sheet.

Size: (unevenly trimmed sheet) 19.9 x 25.4 cm.

Numbered in plate: (lower right corner) “.8.”.

New Holstein Dutch 101 (Ilja Veldman [comp.] 1993/4, “The New Hollstein: Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts 1450-1700: Maarten van Heemskerck”, vol.., 1, Roosendaal, Koninklijke Van Poll, p. 99, cat. no. 101);

See also a descriptions of this print offered by the National Gallery; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the British Museum; and the Rijksmuseum:;;;

Condition: a strong and well-printed impression, trimmed slightly unevenly around the image borderline and laid onto a sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. Beyond a small restored nick at the upper centre edge, the sheet is in an excellent condition.

I am selling this visually arresting scene of Goliath's head being presented to Saul by David, or, alternatively, the commander of Saul’s army, Abner—note the curious weapon (?) resting on the shoulder of the bearer of Goliath’s head and the sphinx-like chair on which Saul sits—for AU$298 (currently US$199.18/EUR180.22/GBP158.65 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 superb engraving exemplifying the spirit of the period style of Mannerism, 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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