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Sporting Art, Horses, Stradanus, Equile Ioannis Austriaci, Pair of Antique Engravings, 17th-18th C.


Jan van der Straet, (Stradanus) (1523-1605) (after)
Philips Galle (1537-1612), Hieronymus Wierix (1553-1619) et al. (engravers)
Appulus [Apulian]
Equus Hispanus [The Spanish Horse]
from Equile Ioannis Austriaci Caroli V. Imp. F., in quo omnis generis equorum ex varijs orbis partibus insignis delectus; ad vivum omnes
[Horses from the Stables of John of Austria, Son of Charles V, from which a significant one of every kind was selected]
Philips Galle, Antwerp, Belgium, c. 1578-93, but later edition c. 17th/18th C.
Engravings with later hand color
7.5 x 10 inches, plate mark
9.5 x 13 inches, overall
$975 the pair

Two old master horse portraits from a series of 43 engravings depicting horses of different breeds from the stables of John of Austria (1547-1578), son of Emperor Charles V. Each print shows a horse rearing on its hind legs in the foreground on a hilltop overlooking a bay with ships in the ocean. Appulus depicts an Apulian horse and Equus Hispanus a Spanish one. The prints are titled in the skies, with two columns of brief explanatory Latin texts in the lower margins.

Product description continues below.


These two prints were originally engraved after works by Flemish painter and draftsman Stradanus and published in either of two Antwerp editions in the late 16th century. Examples of each print, dating from about 1578, are in the collection of the British Museum; they have publication credits for Philips Galle and an additional credit to Hieronymus Wierix as the engraver for Appulus. The pair offered here are apparently later editions printed as mirror images of the Antwerp editions, with slight differences in the skies and simplified credits only listing Stradanus. The edition of these prints has not been identified, but on the basis of the heavily fibrous laid paper on which they are made and other factors they were likely printed sometime from the late 16th to late 18th century.

Jan van der Straet, known as Stradanus, was a Flemish painter of the late Renaissance who also worked in Italy, producing religious subjects and hunting scenes among other subjects. He received early instruction from his father, and thereafter with Pieter Aertsen. He joined the painters guild in Antwerp in 1545 and worked in Lyon at the studio of Corneille de Lyon. In 1550, he went to Italy, where we worked for the Medici dukes, designing scenes for tapestries and frescoes for the Palazzo Vecchio and other projects. He also worked in Reggio for Pope Paul IV until the pope died in 1559, after which he went to Rome. He worked with Francesco Salviati on the decoration of the Vatican Belvedere. Eventually he returned to Florence. Stradanus provided the drawings for hundreds of prints by Hieronymus Cock and by the Galle family in Antwerp. His paintings are in museums around the world.

Philips Galle was a Netherlandish draftsman, engraver and publisher based in Antwerp. Born in Haarlem, in 1570 he became a member of the guild at Antwerp. He engraved history subjects, portraits and genre pictures.

Hieronymus Wierix was a Flemish draftsman and engraver from a family of artists that included his brothers Anthonie and Johan. They were all close in age and may have studied together; Johan and Hieronymus’s styles are so similar their work is often confused. Hieronymus is known for his devotional subjects, allegories, and depictions of saints. He made a number of engravings after his own drawings as well as those by other artists.

John of Austria, also referred to as Don Juan of Austria, was a son of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and member of the Spanish line of the House of Habsburg. He was born out of wedlock in Regensburg to a middle class woman with whom Charles had a brief liaison. In the summer of 1554 John was taken to Spain to be educated. His father formally recognized him as his son in his will in 1558. He went on to receive a university education and participated in Spanish court ceremonies thereafter. John of Austria became an accomplished military leader and participated in battles in Granada, Cyprus, and Flanders. He died at the age of 31.

Condition: Generally very good, recently professionally cleaned and deacidified, with light remaining toning and wear, and slight discolorations in the margins (unobtrusive).


Bénézit, E. Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs. France: Librairie Gründ, 1966. Vol. 4, p. 139 (Galle), Vol. 8, p. 148 (Stradanus) and p. 739 (Wierix).

“Equile Ioannis Austriaci/ Appulus.” British Museum. 2019. (24 January 2020).

“Equile Ioannis Austriaci/ Equus Hispanus.” British Museum. 2019. (24 January 2020).

“John of Austria.” Wikipedia. 19 January 2020. (23 January 2020).

“Stradanus.” Wikipedia. 21 February 2016. (28 September 2017).

Additional information


17th Century, 18th Century