Philip Galle (1537-1612)

The Story of the Prodigal Son – The Prodigal Son Leaving His Father’s House

Netherlands, 1562


This is the first in a series of six engravings based on the story of the Prodigal Son from the New Testament (Luke 15). It tells a moral tale of adolescent rebellion in which the son is shown leaving home against his father’s wishes; his energetic horse reflecting his rider’s eagerness for freedom and adventure. This print reproduces a drawing by Maarten van Heemskerck; his attention to anatomical detail is drawn from classical sculpture.

Purchased 1964 (No. 64.7/1)


We show a rotating selection of works on paper in our two dedicated exhibition spaces. If you wish to view a work not currently on display, you can make an appointment to see it in the Prints and Drawings Study Room, which is equipped with lecterns and a study/seminar table.

The study room is open to students, scholars, and members of the general public, individually or in small groups, by prior appointment only. The room has tables and chairs to facilitate private study or seminars.

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