Cornelis Anthonisz 1505 – 1553

The Fall of the Tower of Babel

etching (31 × 37 cm) — 1547

Cornelis Anthonisz biography

This work is linked to Revelation 14:8

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Impressive etching by Cornelis Anthonisz., a multi-talented artist from Amsterdam. In that city he is still well-known for his detailed maps of the late-medieval city.

The text in the top right reads 'Babelon / Genesis 14'. Originally it read Genesis 11, which makes more sense as that is the chapter where the construction of the tower and the punishment are described. The number 14 probably refers to the chapter about the Last Judgment in the Book of Revelation.

The tower is destroyed by winds and fire from heaven, announced on trumpet by an angel. In the foreground people lay mortally wounded by falling masonry while others flee in all directions.

The text in the top left banner is somewhat strange: "When it was at its highest / it should not do fall". The stone in the bottom left is inscribed with the date 1547.

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