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Tuesday 25 January 2022

Philips Galle’s engraving, “St Peter Freed from Prison by the Angel”, 1582

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

“St Peter Freed from Prison by the Angel” (aka “Petrus wordt door de engel uit de gevangenis bevrijd”), 1582, plate 23 in the series of 34 plates, “Acts of the Apostles II” (aka “Acta Apostolorum”), as an illustration to the “New Testament” (Acts 12:7-10), after the design by Jan van der Straet (aka Joannes Stradanus; Ioannes Stradanus) (1523-1605), published in Antwerp in 1852 by Philips Galle.

Engraving on laid paper trimmed with a narrow margin around the platemark and backed with a support sheet.

Size: (sheet) 20.6 x 27.2 cm; (plate) 20.1 x 26.5 cm; (image borderline) 18.9 x 26.5 cm.

Lettered in plate below the image borderline: (left) “Io. Strada. Inue./ P. Galleus. excu.”; (left of centre) “Clauditur obscuro dum Petrus carcere, lumen/ Angelus ex astris infert, sua vincula postes”; (right of centre) “Laxant, et cedunt diuino ferrea Petro/ Ostia, ab occluso celebrantur gaudia cetu. Acto.Cap.12”; (right) “23”.

State ii (of iii)

TIB 5601.049:8 (Arno Dolders [ed.] 1987, “The Illustrated Bartsch: Netherlandish Artists: Philips Galle”, vol. 56, Supplement, New York, Abaris Books, p. 170, cat. no. [5601].049:8); New Hollstein Dutch 215-2(3) (Marjolein Leesberg [comp.] 2008, “The New Hollstein: Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts 1450–1700: Johannes Stradanus”, Amsterdam, Sound and Vision Rijksmuseum, p. 135; p.144 [image], cat. no. 215); New Hollstein Dutch 210-2(3) (Manfred Sellink & Marjolein Leesberg [comp.] 2001, “The New Hollstein: Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts 1450–1700: Philips Galle”, Rotterdam, Sound and Vision, p. 89; p. 117 [image], cat. no. 210).

The British Museum offers a description of this print from a different state with Claes Jansz. Visscher as the publisher: “St Peter Freed from Prison by the Angel (Acts 12:7-10); to the right, the angel touches Peter, asleep in his cell; to left; the angel leads Peter by the hand out of the prison; in the foreground, the prison guards sleep  Engraving” (

See also the description of this print offered by the Rijksmuseum:

Condition: a strong and well-printed impression with narrow margins and laid upon an archival support sheet of millennium quality washi paper. The sheet is in an excellent condition for its considerable age with no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, stains or foxing.

I am selling this dramatic and theatrically lit scene showing two episodes in St Peter's escape from prison (viz. he is woken by the angel at right and led past the sleeping guards at left), for the total cost of AU$303 (currently US$216.03/EUR191.61/GBP160.55 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 visually arresting engraving exemplifying 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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