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

  • Rubens, Peter Paul, 1577-1640.
Part of:
Historiae sacrae veteris et novi testamenti.
  • Pictures

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."


[Amsterdam] : [Nicolaes Visscher], [1652] ([Amsterdam] : Clemendt de Jonghe excudit)

Physical description

1 print : line engraving ; platemark 40.6 x 50.6 cm


Fecit ergo Moyses serpentem aeneum, et posuit eum pro signo: quem cum percussi aspiceret [sic] sanabantur. Numeri 21 ... Lettering continues in four quatrains engraved in four columns in Dutch, French, English and German: Dit was in Israël, die van den slangh gebeeten, ... Tot barstens toe vergift, is hy ons medeciijn. L'image du serpent eslevé au desert / Servit au peuple Hebrieu de medecin expert: / De mesme Jesus Christ, froissé au Mont Calvaire, / Les froissures guerit du maudit adversaire. As Moses did erect a serpent for to heal / All wounded Israëlits, that did to him appeal, / So Christ did on the crosse, tendring a remedy / To all that wounded are, and to him do apply. Wer vor in Israel der Schlangen Biss entfunden ... Mach Christi Anblick auch von allem Gifft gesundt.

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, presumably one of the engravings listed under copy no. 21 (p. 91)


Wellcome Collection 3063468i

Reproduction note

After a painting in the same direction in the National Gallery, London, presumably via the engraving in the opposite direction by Schelte van Bolswert


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