He was born and died in Amsterdam, where he learned engraving from his father Kaspar Luyken. He married at 19 and had several children, of who Kasparus Luiken also became a renowned engraver. He had a religious experience at age 26 that inspired him to write moralistic poetry.
He also published Het Menselyk Bedryf ("The Book of Trades") in 1694, which contains numerous engravings, by Luiken and his son Caspar (Caspaares), of 17th-century trades.
Joris-Karl Huysmans' anti-hero Des Esseintes in À rebours was an admirer of Luyken's engravings and had prints from his Religious Persecutions hung in his boudoir. He described them as "a collection of appalling plates displaying all the tortures which religious fanaticism has invented." Des Esseintes was enthralled not just by Luyken's graphic depictions but his ability to reconstruct times and places in his works.
- Kort verhaal Van het godvruchtig leven En zalig afsterven Van Joannes Luiken (Short story of the religious life and peaceful death of Joannes Luiken) in the DBNL
- "The Mirror of the Martyrs". Bethel College. Archived from the original on December 28, 2007. Retrieved December 24, 2007.
Media related to Jan Luyken at Wikimedia Commons