Jan and Casper Luyken, book illustrators > Father and son Luyken

In their time, Jan and Casper Luyken turned out not only to be extremely versatile, but also most prolific artists. In all, their production includes almost 4,500 different prints, of which about one fourth are Casper’s work. Together, father and son collaborated on only 36 prints. Jan and Casper Luyken worked for more than a hundred publishing houses, in and outside Amsterdam. A special kind of relationship seems to have existed between Jan Luyken and the publisher Jan ten Hoorn, for whom he worked from 1679 until his death, illustrating as many as 76 books for him.

Casper Luyken, title page of 'Het Menselyk Bedryf', 1694

The Luykens probably owed their impressive number of patrons mainly to their versatility. The prints in the books they illustrated feature a great diversity of subjects and are often witty and full of surprising details. Examples of such illustrations are the depiction of a bear hunt showing a bear sitting on top of one of the hunters (sign. A 19897) and a biblical print featuring the construction of the tabernacle on which various workshops and tools are represented (sign. A 51686). It seems that both Jan and Casper had their own preferences: Jan was a religious man and chose mostly pious and biblical subjects, whereas Casper depicted more worldly scenes.

Read more about father Jan Luyken or son Casper Luyken.

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