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Friday 2 March 2018

Lucas Vorsterman’s engraving after Rubens, “Lot and his family leaving Sodom”, 1620

Lucas Vorsterman I (aka Lucas Aemilius Vorsterman) (1595–1675)

“Lot (aka Loth) and his family leaving Sodom”, 1620, based on a chalk drawing by Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641) in the Musée du Louvre, Paris (inv. 20.314), after the painting of the same name (c1613–15) by Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640) in the collection of The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida (Rooses 102; see:, published by Lucas Vorsterman with privilege from the Spanish Crown.

Engraving on laid paper (with watermark) trimmed to the image borderline and text lines.
Lettered in two lines below the image borderline: (first line is a Latin dedication by Rubens to Jan Brant—his father-in-law) "ER[U]DITIONE ET PRiBITATE...GENER, OBSERVANTlAE ERGO D.D."; (second line) “P. P. Rubens pinxit.” […] “Cum Pri[v]ileg[ii]s, Regis Christianissimi, Principum Belgarum, et Ordinum Bata[v]iae. […] Lucas Vorsterman sculp. et excud. An. 1620."
Size: (sheet) 32.4 x 38.2 cm; (image borderline) 31.6 x 38.2
State ii (of ii) with the lines of text. According to Nagler (presumably copied by Schneevoogt) there is a state iii dated “1647” but this is doubtful according to Henri Hymans (1972) in “Lucas Vorsterman, 1595–1675, et Son Oeuvre Gravé”, Amsterdam, GW Hissink & Co, p.66.

Hollstein 1.II (under Vorsterman); Schneevoogt 1873 2.9 (C G Voorhelm Schneevoogt 1873/75, “Catalogue des estampes gravées d'après P.P.Rubens”, Haarlem); Corpus Rubenianum III 5 (copy 3) (R.-A. d’Hulst & M. Vandeven 1989, “Rubens: The Old Testament, Part III, Harvey Miller Publishers); Basan, 3; Nagler, 73; Rooses, 102.

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“The flight of Lot and his family from Sodom; an angel leading Loth outside a city-gate, his wife next to him, his daughters following while carrying the family's possessions; after Peter Paul Rubens.”

See also the description of this print at the Rijksmuseum:

Condition: an excellent impression with strong contrasts but with a few minor printer’s creases (i.e. white lines created in the printing process by crinkles in the paper when the inked plate is rolled through the press). The sheet has been trimmed close to the platemark and is in superb condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, abrasions, stains, foxing or signs of handling).

I am selling this superb museum-quality impression of exceptional rarity that is one of Vorsterman’s famous masterpieces for AU$396 (currently US$307.07/EUR249.58/GBP222.65 at the time of posting this listing). Postage for this print is extra and will be the actual/true cost of shipping.

If you are interested in purchasing this stunning masterpiece of engraving, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold

This is one of Vorsterman’s most famous masterpieces of engraving. It was specially commissioned by Rubens for Vorsterman to publish as a print as Ruben’s painting of the same subject had proven to be very popular leading to it being copied many times—“some overseen by Rubens himself” as Carl Depauw & Ger Luijten (1999) point out in “Anthony van Dyck as printmaker”, p. 59. Ruben’s interest in this print is clear to see as he has added a dedication line inscribed on the print to his “dearly beloved” father-in-law—the distinguished humanist, lawyer and secretary of the city of Antwerp—Jan Brandt.

There is an intermediary chalk drawing executed by Anthony van Dyck held in the Musée du Louvre, Département des Arts graphiques ( that Vorsterman used as the study for the engraving. Interestingly, Rubens may not have fully approved of van Dyck’s intermediary drawing (termed a “modello”) as Rubens redrew the heads of Lot (aka Loth) and his wife and pasted his revisions over van Dyck’s version for Vorsterman to work from.

For those unfamiliar with the biblical story of Lot and his family leaving the city of sin and debauchery, Sodom (and Gomorrah), the event is described in the “Old Testament”, Genesis 19:30. This scene shows the family guided away from the sinful city by angels with the understanding that no one should look back. Of course, "curiosity kills the cat" and Lot’s wife looks back only to turn into a pillar of salt as a consequence.

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