Elisha Cursing the Children of Bethel Who Are Being Devoured by the Bears

Nicolaes de Bruyn, Gillis van Coninxloo1602

The Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland, United States

The Latin inscription in the bottom corner of the print quotes chapter two of the second Book of Kings (2 Kings 2:23-24) when the Hebrew prophet, Elisha, came upon the children of the city of Bethel who mocked him for his bald head. In the Lord's name Elisha cursed the children and all 42 were killed by two she-bears who emerged from the woods. This obscure Old Testament subject also illustrates an important moral lesson--old age must be respected. Approximating the size and tonal range of paintings by Coninxloo, prints such as these probably served as inexpensive substitutes for paintings.

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  • Title: Elisha Cursing the Children of Bethel Who Are Being Devoured by the Bears
  • Creator: Gillis van Coninxloo (Netherlandish, 1544-1607), Nicolaes de Bruyn (Netherlandish, 1571-1656)
  • Date Created: 1602
  • Physical Dimensions: Sheet: 47.4 x 59.9 cm (18 11/16 x 23 9/16 in.); Platemark: 46.5 x 58.7 cm (18 5/16 x 23 1/8 in.)
  • Provenance: purchased from (Lutz Reister, London)
  • Type: Print
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1996.223
  • Medium: engraving
  • Inscriptions: lower right, in plate: Egidius Coninxlogensis Inventor / Nicola de Bruyin Schulptor / 1602 ; lower right, in plate: Cum Elisæus ascenderet per viam pueri parvi egressi sutit de civitate E illudebant et, dicentes: ascende calve, ascende calve Qui / Cum respexisset vidit eos c'maledixit eis in nomine domini Egressique sunt duo ursi, de saltu et lacerauevunt ex Eis / quadraginte duos pueros. lib 42 Reg Cap 2 Exemplum insigne senectutem esse honorandam, ; lower left, in pen and brown in: [illegible] ; VERSO, lower left, in graphite: LeBl 334 / M53 / C6 ; lower right, in graphite: Ur gravy[illegible] 1635 ([illegible])
  • Department: Prints
  • Culture: Netherlands, 17th century
  • Credit Line: John L. Severance Fund
  • Collection: PR - Engraving
  • Accession Number: 1996.223

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