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Wednesday 3 March 2021

Jacques de Gheyn II’s engraving, “Daniel in the Lions' Den”, c1652, after Dirck Barendsz.

Jacques de Gheyn II (aka Jacob de Gheyn; Jacob de Geyn) (1565–1629)

“Daniel in the Lions' Den”, c1652, after the design by Dirck Barendsz. (aka Dirk Barentsz.; Dirk Barendsz.; Theodore Bernards Barentsz.; Theodor Amsterodamus Bernard) (1534–1592), from the series of 131 engravings (including the title plate), “Historiae Sacrae Veteris et Novi Testamenti” (aka “Royal-Size Bible”), published by Claes Jansz. Visscher (aka Nicolaes Jansz Visscher; Piscator) (1587–1652) and his son, Nicolaes Visscher I (aka Claes Claesz Visscher) (1618–1679) in Amsterdam. Note: The Curator of the British Museum advises that the publication of the series was “originally started by Claes Jansz Visscher and published by his son Nicolaes after his father's death in 1652” (see BM inv. no. 1939,0130.1.1).

Engraving on laid paper trimmed around the image borderline and the text lines, and slightly within the borderline at the upper edge, backed with a support sheet.

Size: (sheet) 27.5 x 35.7 cm.

Inscribed on plate within the image borderline: (lower left) “Theodorus Berna. Inue./ [ligature monogram] IDGeyn. Scup.”

Lettered on plate in two columns of two lines of Latin text below the image borderline: (left) “Bis funt obiectus (res mira) Leonibus. Idem/ Seruatus DANIEL tot fuit et vicibus:// Corpora bina licet danata darentur ad escam/ Quotidie. et tot oues. Turba perercit ej. [ligature letters] HiR”.

Inscribed on plate below the image borderline: (right) “[ligature monogram] CIVisscher excudit."

State ii (of ii) with the change of publisher from Joos de Bosscher to Claes Jansz. Visscher (see state i impression held by the Rijksmuseum:

New Hollstein Dutch 25-2(2) (Jan Piet Filedt Kok [comp.] 2000, “The New Hollstein: Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts 1450–1700: The De Gheyn Family”, part I, Rotterdam, Rijksmuseum Sound and Vision, p. 60 [illus.], 61, cat. no. 25-2[2]).

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:

Daniel in the Lions' Den; Daniel sitting in a rocky cave with a barred grill behind to right, one hand at his breast, looking and throwing out his other arm to left, surrounded by lions, with one sitting under his right foot; second state with address of Visscher; after Dirck Barendsz” (

See also the following references offered by the BM: P. van der Coelen, “Something for Everyone? The Marketing of Old Testament Prints in Holland's Golden Age”, in P. van der Coelen (ed.), “Patriarchs, angels and prophets: The Old Testament in Netherlandish Printmaking from Lucas van Leyden to Rembrandt”, Museum Het Rembrandthuis, Amsterdam, 1997, pp.37-61 (esp. pp.44–46); M. Leesberg, “New Hollstein: Karel van Mander”, 1999, pp. xlii–xliii and n.136; J. van der Waals, “Bijbelse Historien in prent: Nicolaes Visschers royaalbijbel”, in “Prenten in de Gouden Eeuw: van kunst tot kastpapier”, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, 2006, pp.161-167 (see

Condition: a strong impression trimmed along the image borderline and slightly within the border at the upper edge. The sheet has a closed tear at lower centre on the publication centre-fold line, a few dot stains and there are other minor restored tears and abrasions that have been addressed by the sheet having been laid onto a sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper.

I am selling this important engraving by Jacques de Gheyn II showing a theatrically inventive way of portraying Daniel in “his” den without an obscuring front wall—note also the angel, Habakkuk, in the sky at upper-left whose mission it is to bring Daniel food (please don’t ask me about the long bearded chap that the angel is with as it doesn’t look like a transcendent short bearded Daniel)—for the total cost of AU$639 (currently US$500.51/EUR413.47/GBP358.12 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 masterwork of engraving, 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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