Gallery of prints for sale

Monday 20 February 2023

Philips Galle’s engraving, “The Lighthouse at Alexandria”, 1572, after Maarten van Heemskerck

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

“The Lighthouse at Alexandria”, 1572, lifetime impression of the first state before numbering, from the series of eight plates, “The Eight Wonders of the Ancient World” (TIB 5601.101:1–101:8; New Hollstein 513–520), after Maarten van Heemskerck’s (aka Martin Heemskerk; Maarten van Veen) (1498–1574) design with verses by Hadrianus Junius (aka Adriaen de Jonghe) (1511–1575), published in Antwerp by Theodoor Galle (aka Theodor Galle; Dirck Galle) (1571–1633).

Engraving on laid paper, trimmed with a small margin around the platemark, with a significant replenished loss at lower centre and along the lower left margin and backed with a support sheet.

Size: (support sheet) 30 x 34.8 cm; (sheet) 22.3 x 28.1 cm; (plate) 21.2 x 26.8 cm; (image borderline) 20.3 x 26.3 cm.

Inscribed in plate within the image borderline: (upper centre in sky) “PHAROS”; (lower centre on framework) “Martinus Heemskerck Inuentor” and “Philipus Galle Fecit”.


State i (of ii) before the addition of the plate number at the lower right corner.

TIB 5601.101:2 (Arno Dolders [ed.] 1987, “The Illustrated Bartsch: Netherlandish Artists: Philips Galle”, vol. 56, Supplement, New York, Abaris Books, p. 377, cat. no. [5601].101:2); New Hollstein (Maarten van Heemskerck) 514 (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. 192 & 194, cat. no. 514); New Hollstein (Philips Galle) 479 (Manfred Sellink [comp.] 2001, “Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts ca. 1450–1700: Philips Galle”, vol., 14, Rotterdam, Sound and Vision, pp. 177 & 181, cat. no. 479).

The British Museum offers the following description of this print: “Plate numbered 2: the lighthouse at Alexandria; to right, a king, seated (Ptolemy?) discussing plans with an architect, (Sostratus of Cnidus?); two putti standing behind the king; seen from a distance, the lighthouse built on a rocky mountain, emanating light; a town and a meandering aqueduct are seen below it; numerous sailing boats in the sea; after Heemskerck. 1572 Engraving” (

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

Condition: a strong and well-printed (first state) impression trimmed with a small margin around the platemark and laid onto a support of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. There is a significant replenished loss at the lower centre and along the lower left margin.

I am selling this fascinating and creatively inventive Renaissance period engraving—a lifetime impression from 1572—showing the near nude architect (purportedly, Sostratus of Cnidus) consulting with King Ptolemy II about the world’s first lighthouse built between 297 and 283 BC on the island of Pharos near the port of Alexandria (Egypt), for the total cost of AU$337 (currently US$232.49/EUR217.42/GBP193.22 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 amazing first state engraving—mindful that there are significant restoration issues—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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