Elisha Curses Annoying Children

Adriaen Collaert, Elisha Curses Annoying Children, 1582 - 1586, engraving, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

 

This is one of a series of landscape prints by Collaert with biblical and mythological scenes distributed by a print publisher in Antwerp. We may be tempted to discredit these images that were made for commercial distribution but for many people these were the only biblical images they ever saw. Dutch merchants distributed these images all over Europe as well as to the Spanish Empire in the Americas.

This series of engravings has a border of biological illustrations surrounding a landscape with popular biblical and mythological stories in the foreground. Here the prophet Elisha is surrounded by children who have mocked him for baldness and so he curses them in God’s name. A bear comes out of the forest and mauls the children. 
elisha-children

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