Gallery of prints for sale

Friday 7 July 2023

Engraving from the circle of Maarten van Heemskerck, “David Armed before Saul”, c1556, after Van Heemskerck

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

“David Armed before Saul” (National Gallery title) (aka “David Being Armed Before Saul” [MET title]; “David Receives the Armor” [Rijksmuseum title]), c1556, plate 5 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 with wide margins.

Size: (sheet) 25.9 x 33.5 cm; (plate) 21.5 x 25 cm; (image borderline) 19.5 x 24.5 cm.

Lettered and numbered in plate: (within the image borderline at lower left) “5”; (below the image borderline) “Deposuit arma Dauid, accepit baculum, fundam, et quinque lapides de torrente . i . Re . i7” (David laid down his arms, took a staff, a sling, and five stones from the stream”).

New Holstein Dutch 98 (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. 95, cat. no. 98).

The Rijksmuseum offers the following description of this print: (transl.) “David is received by Saul in the camp, where he announces that he wants to fight Goliath. David is incorrectly depicted partially in armour in the foreground, because he refused the armour. The soldier behind him puts a helmet on his head. In the margin a one-line caption in Latin from 1 Sam. (incorrectly referred to as 1 Kings on the print)” (

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

Condition: a strong and well-printed (near faultless) impression, with wide margins. Beyond a few minor marks in the margins (note the mark at lower right) and an interesting partial offset image of another print created during the printing process (verso), the sheet is in an excellent condition with no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, significant stains or foxing.

I am selling this interesting image of composite scenes in the narrative of David, Saul and Goliath—on the right is an initial scene wherein David, in his former role as a shepherd, addresses Saul with his proposition to fight Goliath; on the left in a later scene, David arms himself in front of Saul for his battle, before deciding to shed the armour—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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