We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


Lot and his daughters

circa 1600


Jan Muller


1571 – 1628

  • Details

    circa 1600
    Media category
    Materials used
    ii of 4 states
    42.0 x 46.0 cm platemark; 42.5 x 47.0 cm sheet
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Purchased 2010
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Jan Muller

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Jan Muller was a painter and engraver who spent his career working in Amsterdam. He probably learnt the art of engraving from his father, the print publisher, Harman Muller. It has been suggested that Muller trained with the great Dutch engraver Hendrick Goltzius but there is no conclusive evidence for this. However, the two artists did, nonetheless, collaborate on the production of prints and there are common elements to their respective styles. Muller spent some time in Italy between 1594 and 1602 and it is thought that he also visited the imperial court at Prague, which had become a flourishing centre of the arts under Rudolf II. In any case, Muller certainly maintained contacts with Rudolfine court artists such as Bartholomeus Spranger, Adriaen de Vries and Hans von Aachen, reproducing much of their work through engraving.

    Muller made 100 engravings but few are based on the artist’s own designs. The majority of his prints are after compositions by Haarlem Mannerists such as Goltzius and Cornelis van Haarlem, as well as the Rudolfine artists mentioned above.

    A notable exception is the print of 'Lot and his daughters', of which a painted version by Muller exists in a private collection. Like the painting the print shows the seduction of the elderly Lot by his own daughters following the destruction of the city of Sodom. Muller uses the Bible story to demonstrate his mastery of the nude. With its emphasis on overblown musculature and extreme torsion of the human body, Muller’s engraving typifies the hyper-elegant, anti-classical style of late Dutch Mannerism.

    After c1590 Muller mastered and applied Goltzius’s volumetric engraving technique based on a highly formal method of perfectly even parallel and cross-hatched lines that swell and taper. Muller’s dazzling, curvilinear manner of engraving is seen at its best in prints such as this, which represent the culmination of Dutch Mannerism in printmaking.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 2 publications

  • Provenance

    Private Collection, Germany

    Heinrich Fussli, Switzerland, stamp verso, Lugt 1008

    Hill-Stone Inc., 2008-2010, New York/New York/United States of America, Purchased by the AGNSW from Hill-Stone Inc 2010