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Beer In Art #150: Jan Luyken’s The Brewer

This week’s work of art is by the same artist as last week, Dutch illustrator and engraver Jan Luyken. His watercolor painting, The Brewer, was originally done as a study for an engraving he was working on for a larger project, a book entitled “Het Menselyk Bedryf,” or “Book Of Trades.”

Both the watercolor and the subsequent engraving, which is below, was completed in 1694.

The final engraving was included in The Book of Trades, and looked like this in one edition.

The Curious Observer, writing about Luyken’s Brewer, has the following:

At the time, low-alcohol beers, safer to drink than water, were the common everyday beverage of everyone, including children, who ate bierenbrood, bread boiled in beer.

Luyken’s image shows the brewer’s two biggest problems: barrels, and clean, fresh water. Both were scarce in Holland, the water because of textile-industy pollution and sea salt that leaked into the system of canals. Fresh water had to be imported in special ships and carefully poured into barrels.

And I also found a version of the Brewer that has been colored.

You can read Luyken’s biography at Wikipedia or at Scroll Publishing. You can also see the rest of the engravings from The Book of Trades and you can see other works at WikiGallery. Also, his biblical set, Martyrs Mirror, from 1685, can be seen at Bethel College’s website.

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