Old Testament Scenes: Genesis

Antwerp, np, 1590.


Series of 7 intaglio copperplate engravings, engraved by Hieronymus Wierix to the designs of Johann Sadler after Martin De Vos, the complete Genesis section from a series of thirteen scenes from the Old Testament.

1)   The Offering of Abel. Genesis 4

The shepherd Abel, kneels before a pyre on which he offers a burnt offering to the Lord, his raised arms mirroring the twin columns of smoke enveloping the Lord. In the background flocks graze.

Bartsch. 7001.049 Thieme-Becker, pp. 300-01 | Casanovas, p. 298, no. 24 | Hollstein 1980, vol. 21, no. 50 | Edquist, p. 99, no. 2 | Hollstein 1995-96, vol. 44, no. 190a.

2)   Enoch borne to heavenGenesis 5

Enoch is taken to heaven in his 365th year. As the smoke cloud rises away from his pyre, underneath are beheld his myriad descendants, of all ages.

Bartsch 7003.083. Engraved by Hieronymus Wierix after De Vos.

3)   Noah sacrifices to GodGenesis 8

Against a backdrop of the Ark, its future occupants standing nearby, Noah sacrifices to the Lord, who is once again present in a twin plume of smoke. Noah’s family stand around the altar.

Bartsch 7101.007

4)   The Angel appears to AbrahamGenesis 22

A ram is sacrificed in the foreground, Abraham perched on a rocky outcrop is suddenly surprised by the appearance of a winged angel, who points to Isaac.

Bartsch 7001.049-.050

5)   Joseph is taken from the pit and sold to the Midianites. Genesis 37

A travelling convoy in the background hints at Joseph’s ignominious fate. Carelessly, his semi-comatose form is raised from the pit for the inspection of the Midianites.

Bartsch 7003.060-.068

6)   Jacob’s LadderGenesis 28

Jacob slumbers underneath a great tree, dreaming of a great ladder which reaches to highest heaven, upon which can be seen the forms of angels.

Bartsch 7101.009, 7101.010

7)   The Supplication of EsauGenesis 32 and 33

A crowd of his dependents behind him, Esau kneels in supplication to a great army, the sunlight glinting off their armour.

Bartsch 7201.404


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