Gallery of prints for sale

Monday 8 January 2024

Giovanni Battista Galestruzzi’s engraving, “Hercules and Cerberus”, 1657

Giovanni Battista Galestruzzi (1619–c.1678)

“Hercules and Cerberus” (aka “Hericole e Cerbero”; “Hercules et Cerberus”), 1657, plate 5 from the series, “Gemmae et Sculpturae Antiquae Depictae” (Painted Gems and Ancient Sculptures), executed as an illustration to Leonardo Agostini’s (1593–c.1670) book, “Le Gemme Antiche Figurate” (The Antique Figurative Gems), published in Rome initially in 1657. The portrayed subject shown in the original gem was executed in variegated agate.

I believe that this is a lifetime impression from the first edition published in 1657.

Interestingly, in the later 1686 edition published by Appresso Gio. Battista Brusottiis, the plate number is altered to “40” ( see and, in the 1699 edition published by Leonardum Strik, the image is reversed (see

Etching on fine laid paper with full margins as published.

Size: (sheet) 23 x 17.1 cm; (plate) 13.2 x 9.8 cm.

Inscribed in plate: (upper centre) “HERICOLE E CERBERO”: (upper right corner) “5”; (lower centre) “in Agata Varia”.

TIB 283 (79).46 (21) (Paolo Bellini [ed.] 1982, “The Illustrated Bartsch: Italian Masters of the Seventeenth Century”, vol. 46, Abaris Books, New York, p. 229, cat. no. 283 [79]).

Condition: a strong impression, showing slight movement (doubling of line) in the printing, with full margins of publication. There is a printer’s crease in the upper-left margin and an offsetting of another image (a fleur-de-lis?) at lower right within the image; otherwise the sheet is in excellent condition with no tears, holes or significant stains.

I am selling finely executed etching based on the design engraved on an agate gem, from the collection of Cardinal Francesco Barberini (1597–1679), showing Hercules thwarting the "hound of Hades", Cerberus—or more precisely the moment in the battle in which Hercules “… stroked the monster's neck with his heavy hand” (translation from the Latin verses describing this scene (see—for the total cost of AU$287 (currently US$192.04/EUR175.37/GBP151.09 at the time of posting this print) including Express Mail (EMS) 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 insightfully composed etching employing the spreading limbs of the tree at left—possibly Hesperides’ golden apple tree—to create balance and a spiralling flow, 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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