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Wednesday 7 October 2020

Jan Luyken’s etching, “Israel at Mount Sinai”, 1704

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

“Israel at Mount Sinai” (aka “De Wetgeeving op den Berg Sinai” [The Law on Mount Sinai]; “Dieu donne sa Loi sur la Montagne de Sinai”; [God gives his Law on Mount Sinai]—titles inscribed in French and Dutch on plate]), 1704 (according to Van Eeghen’s [1905] cat. raisonné [p. 586]), plate 22 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) of “Histoire les plus Remarquables de l'Ancien et du Nouveau Testament” (Most notable stories from the Old and New Testaments) on page 63 (as inscribed on the plate).

For those unfamiliar with the Biblical description of this scene wherein God (through Moses) gives the Israelites the Ten Commandments, the following extract offered by BibleGateway from “The Book of Exodus”, chapter 19, verses 17–21 may be helpful:

17 Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.

18 All of Mount Sinai was covered with smoke because the Lord had come down on it in fire. Smoke rose from the mountain like the smoke from a kiln, and the whole mountain shook violently.

19 As the sound of the horn grew louder and louder, Moses was speaking, and the voice of God answered him” (

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

Size: (sheet) 36.3 x 43.6 cm; (plate) 33.5 x 42.5 cm; (image borderline) 32.5 x 41.5 cm.

Lettered on plate below the image borderline: (left) “Edit. à J. Covens et C. Mortier.”; (left of centre) “De Wetgeeving op den Berg Sinai. Exod. XIX.”; (right of centre) “Dieu donne sa Loi sur la Montagne de Sinai. Exode XIX.”; (right) “Page. 63./ 22.”

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 3243 (Pieter van Eeghen & Johan Philip van der Kellen 1905, “Het werk van Jan en Casper Luyken”, Amsterdam, Frederik Muller & Co., vol. 2, p. 586, cat. no 3243 []).

Condition: richly inked and well-printed, near faultless impression with the centre-fold of publication flattened. The sheet in near pristine/museum quality condition with no tears, holes, 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$202.61/EUR172.28/GBP157.13 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 portraying an unworldly spectacle of Mount Sinai 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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