Belshazzars Feast Engraving c1598
Belshazzars Feast Engraving c1598 by Dutch Engraver Jan Harmensz. Muller (1571 – 1628); as well as a painter of the Dutch Golden Age.
This engraving depicting the Biblical tale of Belshazzar’s Feast, depicts the story of The Writing on the Wall from the Book of Daniel, chapter 5.
It shows Belshazzar, the Crown Prince of Nabonidus, holding a grand feast and drinking from vessels that were looted from the First Temple in Jerusalem; that was destroyed by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar II in 586/587 BCE and who exiled the Jewish people to Babylon.
In the engraving , a hand of a spirit appears and writes on the wall above the arched entrance to the feasting hall, terrifying Belshazzar and his guests as related in the Bible.
To understand what the writing means, Belshazzar calls for his wise men to decipher the writing, but they are unable to do so; thus his queen advises him to send for Daniel, who is renowned for his wisdom.
As it is hoped Daniel is able to interpret the message, which states that Belshazzar’s kingdom will be divided among the Medes and Persians and be no more.
This is a remastered digital art old masters reproduction of a public domain image that is available online as a rolled canvas print.
About The Artist
Jan Muller was a Dutch Golden Age engraver and painter who was born in Amsterdam on 1571 and learned the trade of engraving from his father Harmen Jansz. Muller (1540 – 1617) who was a book printer, engraver, and publisher.
Jan was a prolific and skilled engraver who was known for his attention to detail, and produced made drawings, engravings, paintings, and was especially known for his portraits of political figures, royalty, and other prominent figures of the time.
Jan’s most famous works include his engravings of the mythological figures of Minerva and Mercury, his portraits of the Dutch royal family, and his collaborations with the sculptor Adriaen de Vries (1545 – 1626), Dutch Golden Age Painter, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606 – 1669), and the Flemish Engraver, Jan Sadeler (1550 – 1600).
He was also known for his drawings of the great Dutch landscape painter, Jan van Goyen (1596 – 1656), which were made for an edition of van Goyen’s works; and he became an important figure in Dutch engraving, and his works are seen as a testament to the golden age of Dutch art.
Jan was also a respected teacher, passing on his skills to his students, who included the Dutch engraver and painter, Pieter de Molyn (1597 – 1661); and was an important contributor to the Dutch Golden Age of art.