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Last modified 5-9-2013
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Images of Women in Old Master Prints and Drawings: Lot and his Daughters

Biblical Subjects / Mythological Subjects / Allegorical Subjects / Historical Subjects

Adam and Eve / Noah / Lot and his Daughters / Joseph / Samson / Jephthah and his Daughter
David / Judith / Esther / Susanna and the Elders
De Vos Old Testament Women 1 / De Vos Old Testament Women 2 / De Vos New Testament Women
The Virgin Mary / Mary Magdalen / The Woman taken in adultery / The Crucifixion / The Lamentation / The Resurrection
The Story of Lot, Abraham's nephew, presents a conundrum: the one just man in Sodom whose virtue leads God to grant Abraham's wish that Lot and his family be spared from the destructon to be visited upon the cities of the plain has an eventful history: "And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground; And he said, 'Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant’s house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways.' And they said, 'Nay; but we will abide in the street all night.' And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat. But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, 'Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.' And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, And said, 'I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.' And they said, 'Stand back' . . . .  And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door. The men [the angels] put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door. They smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door. And the men [i.e., the two angels] said unto Lot, 'Hast thou here any besides? son-in-law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place: For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it.' And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, 'Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city.' But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law. And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, 'Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.' And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city. It came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, 'Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed' . . . . Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. . . . And Lot . . . dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him . .  . And the firstborn said unto the younger, 'Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth: Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.' And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, 'Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.' And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father (Genesis 19:1-38).

Like Noah, another just man whom God chooses to preserve in the midst of a massive destruction he plans to visit upon sinners and who repays that divine selection by passing out drunk and naked after celebrating too thoroughly the end of the flood, thereby becoming an object of derision to one of his sons, whose dishonoring of his father brings sin back into a world rid of sinners, Lot, who refused to indulge in the sexual abandon that characterized Sodom, falls victim to drink and his daughters, the only two other humans saved from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Georg Pencz (German, 1500-1550), Lot and his daughters (Bartsch 20, only state). Original engraving, c. 1531, from Stories from the Old Testament. A rich impression on laid paper cut on or within the platemark. Signed in the plate with the monogram. Image size: 47x76mm. Price: $1950.
Hans Sebald Beham (German, 1500-1550), Lot and his daughters (Bartsch 9, Pauli 10). Good impression on laid paper of the only state of this very rare print. Trimmed on or just inside the platemark. Laid down on old laid paper. Image size: 58mm in diameter. Price: $2800.
Virgil Solis (Nuremberg, 1514-1562), Lot and his daughters (Bartsch 1.6). Original woodcut, c. 1560. Solis was the most important printmaker active in Nuremberg between about 1550 and his death. During the his last years, Solis produced a large number of woodcuts for a "figured" Bible posthumously published in two parts in 1565. the Biblische Figuren mixes text and illustration; from the elaborate Mannerist frames surrounding the woodcuts, it is likely that their appeal was to collectors. Provenance: "Coll. J. Corynen Antwerp" (not in Lugt). Image size: 118x153mm. Price: $700.
Philips Galle (Antwerp, 1537-1612), Lot and his daughters (New Holl. 9, TIB 56: 004:4). Engraving after Anthonie van Blocklandt. Plate 4 from a set of The Story of Lot consisting of four engravings by Galle published by Hieronymous Cock (c. 1510-1570; the plate was in the inventory of Cock's widow in 1601) at Four Winds. Very good impression on laid paper with thread margins on the top and sides; trrimmed below the bottom border to exclude the Latin verses by Benito Arias Montano. Inscribed lower right, "ABlocklant Inuentor / Phls Galle Fecit." Inscribed "4" lower left center. The story of Lot and his family shows that even the just can fall into grievous sins. Image size: 221x206mm. Price: $1800.
Hans I Collaert (Brussels, 1525/30-1580), Lot invites the Angels to stay with him overnight (New Holl. 22 ii/ii). Engraving after Frans Menton, late 1560s. Plate 1 of The Story of Lot (4 plates). Our impression published by Nicolaes (Claes) Jansz. Visscher (Amsterdam, c. 1587-1660?). Plate 1 inscribed "CIVisscher exudebat." The original publicher was probably Jerome Cock at his shop "Aux Quatre Vents." The series was apparently quite popular and was reprinted several times before the Visscher edition. The text "Hospialitas" suggests that we see Lot as a model of Hospitality. Image size: 206x256mm.
Hans I Collaert (Brussels, 1525/30-1580), Lot attempts to protect his guests from harm at the hands of the men of Sodom (New Holl. 23 i/ii). Engraving after Frans Menton, late 1560s. Plate 2 of The Story of Lot (4 plates). Before the addition of the Bible references and the number 2 lower right. The original publicher was probably Jerome Cock at his shop "Aux Quatre Vents." The series was apparently quite popular and was reprinted several times before the Visscher edition. Tear lower right just outside the platemark. Image size: 207x254mm.
Hans I Collaert (Brussels, 1525/30-1580), The Angels lead Lot and his daughters away from the destruction of Sodom and the punishment of Lot's wife (New Holl. 24 i/ii). Engraving after Frans Menton, late 1560s. Plate 3 of The Story of Lot (4 plates). Before the addition of the Bible references and the number 3 lower right. The original publicher was probably Jerome Cock at his shop "Aux Quatre Vents." The series was apparently quite popular and was reprinted several times before the Visscher edition. We see Lot and his daughters as the recipients of divine mercy. We also seee that Lot's wife, now turned to a pillar of salt, was excluded from this mercy because, like Orpheus, she turned around a looked even after she had been warned not to do so. Image size: 203x252mm.
Anonymous / Hans I Collaert (Brussels, 1525/30-1580), Lot's daughters get their father drunk so that he will impregnate them (New Holl. 22-24 fig. 1). Engraving ca. 1566. Plate 4 of The Story of Lot (4 plates). The editors of the New Hollstein Collaert volumes attribute this print to an anonymous artist; however the style is similar to that of the first 3 plates in the series and it was clearly designed to match the other 3 plates in the series. With the Bible references but before the number 4. The original publicher was probably Jerome Cock at his shop "Aux Quatre Vents." The series was apparently quite popular and was reprinted several times before the Visscher edition. The title suggests that we see the consequences of drunkenness. The text, however, suggests that the problem is the daughters's lack of faith: "And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth: Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father." Assuming that the whole earth has perished save only them and their father, they take it upon themslves to replenish the earth and preserve their father's "seed," forgetting that God called the earth into life in the beginning without the aid of anyone's seed. Image size: 205x251mm. Sold only as a set of four. P
Pieter van der Borcht II (Malines c. 1545-1608 Antwerp), The Story of Lot (Gen XIX). Original etching, c. 1585. Van der Borcht was a painter, engraver, and etcher who worked for the Antwerp publisher Christoph Plantin from 1564 on. In 1572 disaster struck Malines. The Duke of Alva was sent to the Netherlands by the Philip II of Spain in 1567, after uprisings a year earlier, to maintain order and suppress Calvinist and other Reformation heresies. On October 2, 1572 the Duke of Alva and his troops sacked the town of Malines, perpetrating over three days a massacre so horrible that a witness later reported that his hair stood on end when he related, or even remembered, what he saw. Van der Borcht fled with his family to Antwerp, where his friend Plantin took him into his house. Plantin says in in a letter to Arias Montanus, for whose Humanae salutis monumenta (published in 1572 by Plantin) van der Borcht had created drawings for a number of subjects that were engraved by Abraham de Bruyn, Pieter Huys, Jan Wierix and Jerome Wierix (and possibly some signed PB by the artist himself), that both Pieter and his wife had escaped the slaughter and reached Antwerp but that they were sick and their children were naked. Plantin allowed the family to live in his house, without requiring payment, for some time. In 1580, van der Borcht became a master in the Guild of St. Luke and served as Dean in 1591 and 1592. Plantin was occasionally suspected of Protestant leanings and found it prudent to depart for France several times; we might speculate that van der Borcht might have feared that he would be a particular target in Malines rather than an accidental victim of random violence. In this work, we see at left Lot and his daughters led toward a cave by two angels (his missing wife seen abstacted at far left pointing toward the conflagration has already been turned into a pillar of salt for disobeying the angelic command not to look back toward the burning cities of the plain); at right we see Lot's daughters plying him with wine so that they can seduce him to keep the human race from dying out. A very good impression on laid paper with wide margins; there is a reapired tear going up from the bottom left through the engraved text below the image just into the plants near the left margin. Image size: 210x283mm. Price: $1250.
Nicolas Chapron (Chateaudun, France 1612-1656 Rome), Lot and his family fleeing Sodom. Engraving after Raphael's design for the Vatican Loggia executed by Giulio Romano. Inscribed "R.V.I." (Rapheal Urbino Invented it) lower left and "N.C.F." (Nicolas Chabron made it) lower right. First publihed by Chabron in Rome in 1649; although our impression has the adddress of the famous print publisher and collector Pierre Mariette (French, 1694-1774), it is from a later edition on wove paper. Image size: 232x264mm. Price: $500.
Bolognese School (early-mid 17th century), Lot and his Daughters. Pen and brown ink on cream laid paper mounted on laid paper. At Abraham's urging, God selected Lot (Abraham's nephew) and his family as the only just people in Sodom to be saved. Although he warned them not to look back at the destruction of Sodom as they fled, Lot's wife did and was turned into a pillar of salt. Later that night, Lot's daughters, fearing that they were the only ones left alive in the world, got Lot drunk and then slept with him in order to repopulate the earth. This nicely-ironic story, like many others, is a reminder that one ought not to trust to his or her own virtue but to God's mercy. It became a more popular subject after the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation. Image size: 236x183mm. Price: $9500.

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