Jan Luyken

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Jan Luyken from the Bowyer Bible

Johannes or Jan Luyken (April 16, 1649 - April 5, 1712) was a Dutch poet, illustrator and engraver.[1]


Jan Luiken made the engravings for the popular "sailor's bible" called "Lusthof des Gemoeds", by Jan Philipsz Schabaalje, 1714
Jan Luyken's print of the peat boat used as a ruse by the Dutch to gain possession of Breda from the Spanish in 1590

He was born and died in Amsterdam, where he learned engraving from his father Kaspar Luyken.[1] He married at 19 and had several children, of who Kasparus Luiken also became a renowned engraver.[1] In his twenty-sixth year, he had a religious experience that inspired him to write moralistic poetry.[1]


He illustrated the 1685 edition of the Martyrs Mirror with 104 copper etchings. Thirty of these plates survive and are part of The Mirror of the Martyrs exhibit.[2]

He also published Het Menselyk Bedryf ("The Book of Trades") in 1694, which contains numerous engravings, by Luiken and his son Caspar (Caspaares), of 17th century trades.

Cultural references[edit]

Huysmans' anti-hero Des Esseintes was an admirer of Luyken's engravings and had prints from his Religious Persecutions hung in his drawing room. He described them as 'appalling engravings containing all the tortures that the madness of religion could devise.' Des Esseintes was enthralled not just by Luyken's graphic depictions but his ability to reconstruct times and places in his works.


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