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Old Masters, Daniel in the Lions’ Den, Peter Paul Rubens, Antique Print, Late 17th Century (Sold)

Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) (after)
Abraham Blooteling (1640-1690) (engraver)
Daniel in the Lions’ Den
Late 17th Century
Engraving with later hand color
14 x 11 inches

This item is sold. It has been placed here in our online archives as a service for researchers and collectors.

Scene from the biblical story of Daniel imprisoned in the lion’s den, based on a work by the great Old Master artist Peter Paul Rubens. Daniel prays as the lions, with expressive faces, circle him but leave him unharmed. Blooteling cropped and adapted the design from Rubens’ original painting of c. 1613-15, which is now in the collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. When transferred to the plate, the design was reversed as well. According to the National Gallery, Rubens described this canvas as “Daniel among many lions, taken from life. Original, entirely by my hand.” He used the North African lions that were kept at the royal menagerie at Brussels as models.


Peter Paul Rubens was a Flemish artist and diplomat. An educated man from Antwerp, he was employed by the rulers of the southern Netherlands as their ambassador. This gave him access to the courts of Europe, who became his patrons. He was the most versatile and influential Baroque artist of northern Europe in the 17th century, and there was a huge demand for his paintings, altarpieces and tapestry designs. Rubens is notable for his vivid, sensual style, which brought to life the allegorical and narrative themes at which he excelled.

Abraham Blooteling was a Dutch engraver, draftsman and printseller, producing portraits, landscapes after van Ruidael, biblical, mythological and genre subjects. He began as a line engraver, then went to England in 1672 to study mezzotint engraving. In collaboration with his brother-in-law Gerard Valck, he significantly advanced mezzotint technique by developing a means of produced controlled and intense contrasts, and the resulting work was a major influence on English printmakers. He returned to Amsterdam in 1678, where he continued engraving, as well as publishing and selling prints and maps by others.

Condition: Generally very good, the paper with usual light toning, some minor scattered wear, soiling, and soft edge creases. Laid by paper conservator on supporting sheet to stabilize minor scattered short marginal tears and creases.


“Abraham Blooteling.” The Grove Dictionary of Art. New York: Macmillan. 2000. (3 October 2002).

“Daniel in the Lions’ Den.” National Gallery of Art. Washington, D.C. 2002. and (3 October 2002).

“Peter Paul Rubens.” The Grove Dictionary of Art. New York: Macmillan. 2000. (3 October 2002).

Additional information


17th Century