February 2017 object

Jan Luyken, History of the Heresy of the Iconoclasts, Amsterdam, 1685 (?). © MIR Geneva.

This engraving from the MIR's permanent collection depicts a scene of iconoclasm taking place in front of a church. The men at the front are using hammers to break statues of the saints. The group at the centre is tying a rope to a large statue of a saint holding a sword in order to topple it. In the background, liturgical implements are being carried from another church and thrown on a bonfire.

The Dutch painter and engraver Jan Luyken (1649–1712) created this image as the frontispiece of a book by Louis Maimbourg (1610–1686) entitled Historie van de Kettery der Beeldstormers (History of the Heresy of the Iconoclasts) published in Amsterdam in 1685 by Timotheus ten Hoorn.

Samantha Reichenbach
Curator