Jan Luyken  

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"He [Des Esseintes] possessed a whole series of studies by this artist in lugubrious fantasy and ferocious cruelty: his Religious Persecutions, a collection of appalling plates displaying all the tortures which religious fanaticism has invented, revealing all the agonising varieties of human suffering - bodies roasted over braziers, heads scalped with swords, trepanned with nails, lacerated with saws, bowels taken out of the belly and wound on to bobbins, finger-nails slowly removed with pincers, eyes put out, eyelids pinned back, limbs dislocated and carefully broken, bones laid bare and scraped for hours with knives. --J. K. Huysmans via À Rebours, page 57

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Jan Luyken (April 16 1649, Amsterdam - April 5 1712, Amsterdam) was a Dutch poet, illustrator and engraver.

His name is also shown as Johannes Luiken.

At his twenty-sixth, he had a religious experience that inspired him to write moralistic poetry.

He illustrated the 1685 edition of the Martyrs Mirror with 104 copper etchings. Thirty of these plates survive and are part of The Mirror of the Martyrs exhibit.

He also published Het Menselyk Bedryf ("The Book of Trades") in 1694, which contains numerous engravings, by Luiken and his son Caspar (Caspaares), of 17th century trades.

Huysmans' anti-hero Des Esseintes was an admirer of Luyken's engravings and had prints from his Religious Persecutions hung in his drawing room. He described them as 'appalling engravings containing all the tortures that the madness of religion could devise.' Des Esseintes was enthralled not just by Luyken's graphic depictions but his ability to reconstruct times and places in his works.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Jan Luyken" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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