Cornelis Galle the Elder (1576 – 29 March 1650), a younger son of Philip Galle, was born at Antwerp in 1576, and was taught engraving by his father. He followed the example of his brother Theodoor in visiting Rome, where he resided for several years and acquired a correctness of design and a freedom of execution in which he greatly surpassed both his father and his brother. After engraving several plates at Rome, he returned to Antwerp, where he carried on the business of a printseller and engraved many plates after the works of his countrymen and his own designs. He became a master of the Antwerp Guild of St Luke in 1610. One of his pupils was Giovanni Fiorimi of Siena.
Prior to his visit to Italy, he engraved some plates in the dry, stiff style of his father, of which the best known are:
A part of the plates of the Life of Christ; after Marten de Vos,
A set of plates of the Life of the Virgin Mary; after Stradan,
A set of plates of the Life of St. John the Baptist; after Stradan also.
The following are the most esteemed of his later prints: Portraits of St.Charles Borromeo, Cardinal Archbishop of Milan; Philip Rubens, the brother of Peter Paul Rubens; Ferdinand III and Artus Wolfart, painter, after Van Dyck; Jan van Havre, after Rubens; Charles I, King of England, Henrietta Maria, Queen of Charles I, and Johannes de Falckenberg, after Van der Horst; and Abraham Orteliusm after Henfrick Goltzius.
And other pieces with other subjects after various masters: Adam and Eve, The Holy Family returning from Egypt, with a Choir of Angels, Venus caressing Cupid, after the same and St. Peter baptizing St. Priscia; after Giovanni Battista Paggi; Venus bound to a Tree, Minerva chastising Cupid, Procne showing the Head of her son Itys to her husband Tereus and Seneca in the Bath, after Agostino Carracci; The Virgin caressing the Infant Jesus and The Entombment of Christ; after Raphael; and The Virgin Mary, under an arch, ornamented with flowers by Angels, Judith cutting off the Head of Holofernes, The Four Fathers of the Church, A naked Woman grinding colors and Autumn and Winter, two landscapes, after Rubens.