Maerten v. Heemskerck

The Story of David and Saul - Ca. 1556

Maerten Van Heemskerck                Dirk Volkertsz Voornhert           Theodor Galle            Hieronymus Cock 




Painter and print designer; worked in Haarlem and Italy. Born in Heemskerck; son of a farmer. Trained in Haarlem under Jan van Scorel; in Italy 1532-6/7; later career in Haarlem, where one of the richest citizens. Prolific designer of compositions for prints, almost all made by others. Artists who engraved after his designs include Dirk Coornhert (c.1547-59), Philips Galle (from 1559), Cornelis Bos, Theodoor de Bry

THEODOR GALLE (1571 - 1633)
He is known as one of the most brilliant engravers of his time. He worked in Antwerp for Rubens at the time the engraving as a whole, and the Antwerp Baroque book particularly took a very high flight. The works composed in this period where pure artistic and of enormous quality. T.Galle made between 1613 and 1622 the engravings after Rubens design drawings. He was married to Catharine, the daughter of Jan Moretus and Marina Plantijn.

Around 1556

Hollstein 491-500
New Hollstein 94-103
From a series of then plates by an anonymous engraver.
Without Hollstein 96 :
Jesse sending David with presents to his brothers

Etching. Complete with text line.
Good condition. Strong impressions. Some thumbing of the margins.
Measures 21,50 by 26 cm. Full plate border and good margins.
Large early watermark

Date of printing
These are good strong impressions made in the period after Hieronymus Cock but before Joan Galle.


Samuel anointing David; Samuel pours oil from a horn over the head of David kneeling before him; behind is an altar with a sacrificial ox; various figures stand by and observe (1 Samuel 16:1-18);

David bringing Saul the gifts from his father; Saul sits on a throne flanked by coutiers and David approaches him with a laden donkey

David inquiring after Goliath's challenge; David converses with a group of soldiers in an encampment; beyond Goliath stands alone with his legs astride

David being armed before Saul; Saul sits on a throne and watches as a soldier places a helmet on David's head; David fastens his belt from which hangs a large sword

David confronting Goliath; David and Goliath stand apart with their respective supporters behind them divided by a stream; Goliath, at left, an armoured giant holding the shaft of his spear; David stands with his body twisted and holding a sling

David severing Goliath's head; David steps on Goliath's fallen body and raises his sword over his head; Goliath's supporters turn tail and flee

David presents Goliath's severed head to Saul

Singing and dancing women meeting Saul and David after the victory; a procession led by women playing instruments, Saul riding on horseback, David clutching Goliath's head and soldiers

Saul casting a javelin at David; Saul sits on his throne and aims a javelin at David standing before him holding a harp


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