Cornelis Galle the Elder, 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 Florimi 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 the same
The following are the most esteemed of his later prints: