GALLE, Cornelis
(b. 1576, Antwerpen, d. 1650, Antwerpen)

Mary Queen of Heaven

Copperplate engraving, 555 x 400 mm
Rockox House, Antwerp

Cornelis Galle was a member of a Flemish family of artists and publishers of Dutch origin in Antwerp. The print workshop and publishing house founded by Philip Galle was one of the most important centres for engraving in Antwerp from the late 16th century to the early 17th. The business was continued by his sons Theodor Galle and Cornelis Galle, who are chiefly known as reproductive engravers after compositions by Rubens and who, with their colleagues in the workshop, were among the first generation of engravers whose reputations were made by this work. Many of the title-pages and book illustrations produced in the Galle workshop were reprinted by the Plantin and Moretus presses.

Cornelius Galle made engravings primarily for Rubens' book illustrations. Mary, Queen of Heaven, which is dedicated to Rockox shortly before his death, is also his work.

Rubens from the very early on set about looking for copperplate engravers able to submerge themselves in his style and to reproduce the effects of his brushwork. As Cornelis Galle's style was rather dry, Rubens turned to the engravers of the Goltzius school, Pieter Soutman, Willem Swanenburgh, Egbert van Panderen, Andriesz Stock and Jacob Matham. He supervised their work and directed the commercial exploitation of the business himself. The plates were made from monochromes specially prepared by him or his collaborators.