Lucas van Valckenborch 1535 – 1597

The tower of Babel (1568)

oil on panel (22 × 29 cm) — 1568 Museum Alte Pinakothek, Munich

Lucas van Valckenborch biography

This work is linked to Genesis 11:4

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This is probably the first Tower of Babel by Lucas van Valckenborch. It is obvious that he had taken a good look at the Rotterdam Tower of Babel by his contemporary and fellow artist Pieter Bruegel. This tower is also modelled after the Colosseum in Rome.

Like Bruegel in his Vienna Tower Van Valckenborch incorporated the story of Nimrod, the man who supposedly ordered the construction of the tower. He can be seen in the foreground. In the biblical story on the tower, Nimrod is not mentioned.

See also our special on the Tower.

Seven panels by Lucas van Valckenborch of the construction of the tower are known today:

  • 1568, this version, 22 x 29 cm, in the Alte Pinakothek
  • 1587, the largest version, 71 x 90 cm, private collection
  • 1594, 41 x 56 cm, in the Louvre and here
  • 1595, 42 x 68 cm, in Koblenz and here
  • c. 1595, 42 x 68 cm, in Mainz
  • c. 1595, 48 x 64 cm, private collection
  • and a round panel, also in a private collection, year unknown

Other Towers by Van Valckenborch: 1594 and 1595.

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