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Monday 18 October 2021

Jan Luyken’s etching, “Gideon Defeats the Medianites”, 1708

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

“Gideon Defeats the Medianites” (aka “Gidion verslaat de Medianiten”; “Gedéon défait les Madianites” [titles inscribed in Dutch and French in the plate]), 1708, plate 27, from a series of sixty-two Old and New Testament biblical prints first published by Pieter Mortier (1661–1711) in 1708 in Amsterdam in “Icones Biblicae Veteris et Novi Testamenti”. 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).

Etching on fine laid paper with small margins

Size: (sheet) 36.5 x 47.8 cm; (plate) 33.7 x 43.6 cm; (image borderline) 32.1 x 42.5 cm.

Lettered on plate below the image borderline: (left) “Edit. à J. Cóvens et C. Mortier.”; (left of centre) “.Gidion verslaat de Medianiten. Judicum VIII.v.19”; (righr of centret) “Gedéon défait les Madianites. Juges VII.v.19.”; (right) “Johannes Luyken In. et Fecit./ 27.”

State ii (of ii)

Van Eeghen 3713 (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. 3713 []).

Van Eeghen (1905) offers the following description of this print: (Transl.) “The Midianites encamped in a plain are startled in the night by the three small bands of Gideon, which appear on the hills with their torches, and flee in disorder” (p. 662).

See also the description of this print offered by the Rijksmuseum:

For those unfamiliar with the portrayed Biblical scene, the following three verses of Judges 7:19-21 (New International Version) may be helpful:

19 Gideon and the hundred men with him reached the edge of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just after they had changed the guard. They blew their trumpets and broke the jars that were in their hands. 20 The three companies blew the trumpets and smashed the jars. Grasping the torches in their left hands and holding in their right hands the trumpets they were to blow, they shouted, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!” 21 While each man held his position around the camp, all the Midianites ran, crying out as they fled.”


Condition: richly inked and well-printed impression with flattened centre-fold and small margins around the platemark. There are remnants of previous mounting on the upper edges (recto), otherwise, the sheet is in an excellent condition with no tears, holes, folds, abrasions or significant stains.

I am selling this extraordinary and large etching showing the Medianite army fleeing into the night after having been startled by trumpets blaring, blazing torches and pots being smashed—note the shards of pitchers on the hillock at left—for AU$284 (currently US$211.60/EUR181.64/GBP153.71 at the time of this listing) including 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 amazing etching of epic proportions—a print that is so "packed to the rafters” with incidents that it can only be fully appreciated by slow examination—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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