Borduurder ('Embroiderer'), 1694

De Borduurder, by Jan and Kasper Luyken. Amsterdam 1694. De Borduurder, by Jan and Kasper Luyken. Amsterdam 1694. Courtesy Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, acc. no. RP-P-OB-44.538.

A print (14 x 8.1 cm) now in the collection of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (RP-P-OB-44.538), shows a Borduurder ('embroiderer') hard at work. The print (an engraving), after a copper plate etching, forms part of a collection of one hunded representations of human occupation, called Spiegel van het Menselyk Bedryf, composed in the late seventeenth century by Jan and Caspar Luyken and published in Amsterdam in 1694.

The professional, male embroiderer is working at a frame. On the wall behind him there are at least another four rectangular frames. To his right there is another frame with a piece of embroidery. The use of the frame is consistent with metal thread embroidery (as described in the accompanying text). The other man may be his apprentice.

Jan Luyken (1649-1712) was the writer and engraver. His son Caspar (1672-1708) was his assistant (who between 1699 and 1705 spent some time in Nuremberg). The text that accompanies the illustration reads as follows:

De Borduurder. 

Doorstikt uw Hert met kunst der Deugd,
Dat ghy voor Eedel gelden meugd.

Al was 't ook dat men 't Vorst'lyck heet,
Met Goud en Silver overtoogen,
Noch is 't te slecht voor't bruilofs kleed,
Dat gelden moed voor d'Eeuw'ge Oogen
't Ciraad dat God en d'Eng'len haagd,
Is't geen de Mens van binnen draagd

See also the entry on a business card engraved by Caspar Luyken for the gold and silver thread shop of Christiaan Beuning.

Source: EEGHEN, P. van, and Johan Philip van der KELLEN (1905). Het Werk van Jan en Casper Luyken, Vol I, p. 259, cat. no. 1443.

Jan Luyken, 1649-1712, Dutch poet, painter and engraver. Engraving dated 1712, designed by Arnold Houbraken (1660-1719) and engraved by Pieter Sluyter (1675-1713).

For all illustrations in Spiegel van het Menselyk Bedryf, click here.

Rijksmuseum Amsterdam online catalogue (retrieved 1 May 2016)

For the same print, but from another, simpler edition (Abeelding der Menschelyke Beezigheeden, 1695, Plate 14), see the British Museum online catalogue (acc. no. 2AA*,a.57.15; retrieved 16 January 2017). The text that goes with the engraving in this edition reads: "De naalde, geestig in 't borduuren, / Gevat van die haar kan bestuuren, / Maakt bloem en loofwerk eeven schoon / De konst verdient haar lof en loon" (The needle, pleasant during embroidery. / clever who can handle her, / makes flowers and foliage equally beautiful / Art deserves her praise and merit).


Last modified on Tuesday, 17 January 2017 17:33