Jan Luyken, born in Amsterdam April
16, 1649, was an important 17th Century artist and poet.
He worked primarily as an etcher following Rembrandt's period
using copper plates. As a poet, his work ranged from
secular love songs to religious poetry. His work as a
lithographer became a very important influence on many artists
following his period.
A year before his marriage, he
published "De duyste lier" (German lyric) in 1671, a volume of
poetry. His religious poetry was inspired by the writings
of the German mystic Jakob Bohme. His Dutch contributions
influenced several students and other novice poets, alike.
Though he never became famous for
his work as a poet, he still continued to write to become closer
to his Christian beliefs. It was not until a year after
his marriage in 1672 that he became baptized into his religion.
Much of his work following his baptism reflects this change in
Luyken is most famous for his
illustrated book "Het Menselyk Bedryf" - "Book of Trade",
published in 1694. His son Casper (1672-1708) assisted with the making of the book.
This book contained a collection of engravings from which he
On the following pages you can see
the diversity of his style. His ability to capture the
comical side of his subject while remaining true to their spirit
is captivating. Ideally, you would assume his work to be
that of children's book illustration, but he did not limit
himself to this venture. Instead, he focused on pursuits
more geared to his rhythm of life.
Despite his career as a book
illustrator and the success gained from this book publication,
he withdrew from society and died in poverty April 5,1712.
Engraving is a printing process in
which the lines to be printed are cut into a metal (usually
copper) plate. The pictures of which some like the Copperplate
printer, the Baker and the Apothecary have world-wide fame, are
of exceptional quality. Each picture has a moralistic
verse with it.