17th Century: Original Jacques Callot engravings

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Jacques Callot (1592-1632) was one of the earliest great creative artists to practice the graphic arts exclusively. His career can be divided into two periods: an Italian period, c. 1609-1621, and a Lorraine period from 1621 until his death. Callot studied the technique of engraving under Phillipe Thomasin in Rome. About 1612 he joined Guilio Parigi in Florence. At that time Medici patronage expended itself almost exclusively on "feste," and both Parigi and Callot were employed by Cosimo II (de Medici) to create visual records of these entertainments. Callots compositions are organized as if they were a stage setting and reduced the figures to a tiny scale, each one being rendered by the fewest possible strokes. This required an extremely fine etching technique. Callot enjoyed a lasting popularity all over Europe. He returned to Nancy after Cosimo*s death in 1621. During the Lorraine period Callot illustrated sacred books, made a series of plates of the Apostles, and visited Paris to make animated maps of the sieges of La Rochelle and the Ile de RČ. Callot was one of the first etchers to used the technique of repeated biting, and sometimes combined graver work with etching


Nine from a set of twelve etchings representing costumes worn at the Court of Lorraine; the plates were probably engraved between 1620 and 1623;
all the preparatory drawings known are in the Uffizi (T 729-735) but it does not mean that they were executed in Italy.

Each etching depicting a contemporary aristocrat from the Lorraine region of France. They are placed before a background related to their person.  These were probably friends and relatives of the artist. 'Bouchot' described that Callot and his friends march past in this series. 'Bruwaert' call's this series: La Famille Callot. 'Lieure' is almost certain that L.550 is a self portrait by Callot, and L.554 shows his older brother Jean. Callot's wife is depicted in L.549 and L.560 and his sister Marguerite in L.556.

The etchings below are early impressions from the only state.
Important valuable work, you will hardly find a selection like this on the market elsewhere.

La Noblesse 9 From the series of 12 in only state L.549-560

L.550 ( I ) - (Self-portrai)t
Standing man, turned to left, holding his hat under his arm, and greeting; he wears a fur-trimmed coat; figures and enclosed garden in the background. c.1620/23

L.552 ( I  )
Standing woman in profile to left, in elegant dress with lace collar, and with hands in muff; figures and village in the background. c.1620/23

L.553 ( I  )
Standing woman in profile to right, with long veil falling down her back, and with hands in muff; funeral scene in the background. c.1620/23

L.554 ( I  ) - (Callot's Brother Jean)
Standing man, turned to left, wearing plumed hat, ruff, and boots; torso wrapped in fur-trimmed cape; in the background, figures in a village; among them, two duellists. c.1620/23

L.555 ( I )
Standing man, in profile to right, with right hand behind his back; he wears a plumed hat and a fur-trimmed jacket; in the background, figures in a small town. c.1620/23

L.556 ( I)  - (Callot's sister Marguerite)
Standing young woman, elegantly dressed, with left hand holding muff, and right hand on hip, holding a rosary; landscape with houses in the background. c.1620/23

L.557 ( I )
Standing woman, elegantly dressed, with hands at waist level holding a fan; figures and small town in the background. c.1620/23
L.558( I )
Standing man, slightly turned to left, with plumed hat, wrapped in fur-trimmed cape; town and bridge spanning over a river crossed in the background. c.1620/23

L.559 ( I )
Man standing in profile to right, with hands placed before his stomach; he wears a hat and a fur-trimmed cape; a square in a city in the background.

Plate in double
Plate in second state


L.559 ( I )
Man standing in profile to right, with hands placed before his stomach; he wears a hat and a fur-trimmed cape; a square in a city in the background.


L.551 ( II / II )
An officer, standing with his right hand on sword's handle; with plumed hat, ruff, jerkin, breeches and boots; battle scene in background;

click on the thumbnails to see a larger image

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