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Saturday 14 November 2020

Jan Luyken’s etching, “Joshua Makes the Sun and the Moon Stand Still”, 1704

Jan Luyken (aka Johannes Luyken; Jan Luijken) (1649–1712)

“Joshua Makes the Sun and the Moon Stand Still” (aka “Josua doet Son en Maan stil staan”; “Josué fait arréter Le Soleil & la Lune”—titles inscribed in Dutch and French on the plate]), 1704, plate 29 from a series of sixty-two Old and New Testament biblical prints first published by Pieter Mortier (1661–1711) in 1708. This impression is from the 1732 edition published in Amsterdam by Jan Covens (1697–1774) and Corneille Mortier (fl.1688–c1743) in “Histoire les plus Remarquables de l'Ancien et du Nouveau Testament” (Most notable stories from the Old and New Testaments).

For those unfamiliar with the Biblical description of this scene, the following extract offered by BibleGateway from “The Book of Joshua”, chapter 10, verses 7–14 may be helpful:

7 So Joshua marched up from Gilgal with his entire army, including all the best fighting men.

8 The Lord said to Joshua, ‘Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.’

9 After an all-night march from Gilgal, Joshua took them by surprise.

10 The Lord threw them into confusion before Israel, so Joshua and the Israelites defeated them completely at Gibeon. Israel pursued them along the road going up to Beth Horon and cut them down all the way to Azekah and Makkedah.

11 As they fled before Israel on the road down from Beth Horon to Azekah, the Lord hurled large hailstones down on them, and more of them died from the hail than were killed by the swords of the Israelites.

12 On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel: ‘Sun, stand still over Gibeon, and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.’

13 So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day.

14 There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a human being. Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel!”


Etching on fine laid paper with a small margin around the platemark and backed with a support sheet.

Size: (sheet) 36.2 x 46.9 cm; (plate) 34 x 44.5 cm; (image borderline) 32.5 x 43.5 cm.

Lettered on plate below the image borderline: (left) “Edit. à J. Covens et C. Mortier.”; (left of centre) “Josua doet Son en Maan stil staanJosua X.v. 12.”; (right of centre) “Josué fait arréter Le Soleil & la Lune. Josue X.v.12”; (right) “Johannes Luyken. Inv et Fecit./26.”

State ii (of ii) with the change of publisher from Pieter Mortier I to his son, Corneille Mortier and Corneille’s brother-in-law, Jan Covens, and the erasure of the privilege. Lifetime/early impression (based on the crisp quality of the lines showing no sign of wear to the printing plate).

Van Eeghen 3712 (Pieter van Eeghen & Johan Philip van der Kellen 1905, “Het werk van Jan en Casper Luyken”, Amsterdam, Frederik Muller & Co., vol. 2, p. 662, cat. no. 3712 []).

Van Eeghen (1905) offers the following description of this print:

(Transl.) “In the foreground to the right, Joshua is surrounded by the Israelite warriors; in the second ground [middle distance?] the confused army of the Amorites, above which a violent shower of hail breaks loose.” (p. 662).

Condition: richly inked and well-printed, near faultless impression with the centre-fold of publication flattened and virtually invisible. The sheet in near pristine/museum quality condition with no tears, holes, folds, losses, abrasions, stains, foxing or signs of handling and laid onto a support of archival (millennium quality) washi paper.

I am selling this museum-quality etching in an exceptionally fine state of preservation for AU$284 (currently US$206.53/EUR174.48/GBP156.46 at the time of this listing) including Express Mail (EMS) postage and handling to anywhere in the world, but not (of course) any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries.

If you are interested in purchasing this spectacular etching of a war featuring hail, sun and moon portrayed with the scale and the grandeur of a Cecil B. DeMille film, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold

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