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Storytelling in Miniature

Heinrich Aldegrever
German, 1502–about 1561

Lot and His Daughters

Engraving, 1530
3 15/16 x 2 3/4 in.
Gift of Carl B. Spitzer, 1938.47

This print appears to be an isolated image unrelated to Aldegrever’s much later (1555) series “The Story of Lot.” In this image Lot and his daughters are shown seated, with the dynamic conflagration of the town of Sodom in the background. Lot’s wife, turned to a pillar of salt for disobeying God’s command not to look back at the town while the family escaped its destruction, is shown in the middle ground on the right.

According to the story in Genesis, Lot’s daughters feared that after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, there were no more people alive and their father’s line would die out. So they decided they needed to take it upon themselves to continue the human race by first getting their father drunk. Lot is being offered a bowl of wine by one of his daughters, while the second daughter, on the left, presents herself in a compromising fashion.