Luyken, Jan (1649-1712) and Luyken, Caspar (1672-1708)
Antique print/originele prent: De Plaatsnijder/The Engraver.
The workshop of the engraver. Literally ‘Plate cutter’, an engraver is sitting beside a window, engraving a plate with his burin. In the left foreground is another emptying a bucket from the acid, therefore he is preparing an etching.
In 1694 the Amsterdam artists Jan and Casper Luyken published their celebrated ‘Het menselyk bedryf’ (Amsterdam, Jan and Casper Luyken, 1694), a collection of one hundred fine engravings depicting the arts and crafts. Jan Luyken (1649-1712) belonged to the best engravers of the period. His son Casper (1672-1708) assisted with the making of the prints, each depicting a particular occupation, with the name of the profession, one or two explanatory lines above the plate and followed by a six-line poem below.
The book was an instant success and was reprinted many times up to 1767, using the same engraved plates over and over again, although the originals included engraved captions and poems were cut from the plates. Even in 1822, the worn copper plates were used one more time as illustrations for J.A.C. Lohr’s ‘Kunst en vernuft’. Other printers and booksellers tried to gain profit from the popular bestseller as well. The first of many pirated editions appeared as soon as 1695.
Etching on paper; plate mark: 91 x 80mm, total: 154 x 99 mm; some water stains along the margins.
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