Moses and Eleazar show the brazen serpent before the writhing multitude afflicted with snake-bites. Engraving by S. à Bolswert after P.P. Rubens, ca. 1635-40.

  • Rubens, Peter Paul, 1577-1640.
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About this work


Old Testament, Numbers 21: 5-9: "And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived."


Antverpiae [Antwerp] : [Gillis Hendricx]

Physical description

1 print : line engraving ; image 45.8 x 61.2 cm


Fecit ergo Moyses serpentem aeneum, et posuit eum pro signo: quem cum percussi aspicerent sanabantur. Numeri 21 ... Lettering continues: Nobili ac generoso domino dnō. Francisco Goubau toparchae de Triest. Mespelaer, etc. d.c.q. Aegidius Henrici. Pet. Paul Rubbens pinxit. S. a. Bolswert sculpsit

References note

R.A. d'Hulst and M. Vandenven, Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard, part III, The Old Testament, London 1989, pp. 90-94, no. 24, copy no. 20 (p. 91)


Wellcome Collection 20541i

Reproduction note

After a painting in the opposite direction in the National Gallery, London



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