Philips Galle: the pyramids of Egypt (1572)
(Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
An engraving by the Dutch artist Philips Galle (1537-1612), designed by the Dutch artist Maarten van Heemskerck (1498-1574). This print comes from a set which shows the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, Statue of Zeus at Olympia, Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, Colossus of Rhodes, and the Lighthouse of Alexandria). This print shows a somewhat fanciful representation of the pyramids of Egypt (it is obvious that the artist never saw the pyramids) surrounded by several obelisks and a weird looking sphinx. In the foreground slaves are busy with getting clay from a river which is baked in an oven to create stone for the buildings. On the left is pharaoh Psamtik on a stone. He is looking at an eagle which has sandal in his beak. This refers to the fabel of Rhodopis (a tale about about a Greek courtesan who marries the king of Egypt, an ancient version of the Cinderella story). Engraving from 1572.