Gallery of prints for sale

Wednesday 2 March 2022

Philips Galle’s engraving, “The Angel Frees the Apostles from Prison”, 1575, after Maarten van Heemskerck

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

“The Angel Frees the Apostles from Prison”, 1575, after a pen and ink drawing by Maarten van Heemskerck (aka Martin Heemskerk; Maarten van Veen) (1498–1574) (see, plate 9 from the series of engravings, “The Acts of the Apostles I” (Acta Apostolorum), published by Philips Galle in Antwerp. Note that TIB lists two series of “The Acts of the Apostles”: Series I (including this plate) 5601.048:1– 16; Series II 5601.049:1–17. Note also that some of the other plates in the series are after Jan van der Straet (aka Joannes Stradanus; Ioannes Stradanus) (1523–1605) and SMK offers their publication details (see

This plate illustrates the passage from “The Acts of the Apostles” (5:18–19): “They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out” (New International Version).

Engraving on fine China paper, trimmed with a small margin at top and bottom and beside the image borderline on the sides, backed with a support sheet.

Size: (sheet) 22.6 x 26.9 cm; (image borderline) 19.5 x 26.9 cm.

Inscribed in plate within the image borderline: (on the staircase) “APOSTOLI PER ANGELVM E/ CARCERÆ EDVCVNTVR ACT 5.19.” (The Apostles are led out of prison by the angel Act 5.19.); (lower right of centre) “Mart. Heemsk Inuēt.”; (indistinct at lower left corner) “Jf. [?]”.

Numbered and lettered in plate below the image borderline: (left) “9.”; (left of centre) “Carcere clauduntur nigro mandāte Senatu/ Discipuli, sed lux Diuina repagula porte” (The disciples are locked in a black prison, order the senate, but lift up the barriers by the divine light); (right of centre) “Perfregit, duxitq[ue] viros ad limina templi,/ Sacra quibus iussum est miisteria pandere Christi. Ac. Cap.5.18.” (She broke through, and led the men to the threshold of the temple, by which she was commanded to reveal the sacred mysteries of Christ. Ac. Cap.5.18).

State iii (of iii) with the addition of the plate number (“9”)—note that there is a copy of this print with the plate number “10” (see

TIB 5601.048:8 (Arno Dolders [ed.] 1987, “The Illustrated Bartsch: Netherlandish Artists: Philips Galle”, vol. 56, Supplement, New York, Abaris Books, p. 154, cat. no. [5601].048:8); New Hollstein (Maarten van Heemskerck) 402 (Ilja Veldman [comp.] 1993–94, “Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts ca. 1450–1700: Maarten van Heemskerck”, vol., 14, Roosendaal, Koninklijke Van Poll, p. 99, cat. no. 402); New Hollstein (Philips Galle) 196 (Manfred Sellink [comp.] 2001, “Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts ca. 1450–1700: Philips Galle”, vol., 14, Rotterdam, Sound and Vision, p. 84, cat. no. 196).

The British Museum offers the following description of this print: “The angel delivering the apostles out of prison; a glowing angel leads St Peter by the hand followed by the others; the exit through an arched dungeon door; the guard soldiers lie asleep; after Heemskerck. 1575 Engraving” (

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

Condition: a well-printed impression trimmed close to the image borderline and laid onto a support of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. The sheet is in a near pristine condition with no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, significant stains or foxing.

I am selling this fascinating engraving showing the artist’s creative way of representing an angel as transparent and in a blaze of light, for the total cost of AU$297 (currently US$216.89/EUR195.29/GBP161.73 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.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please let me know your thoughts, advice about inaccuracies (including typos) and additional information that you would like to add to any post.