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