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 RÈ. Callot was one of the first etchers to used the technique of repeated biting, and sometimes combined graver work with etching


Below some rare plates by Callot such as the fan for the feast on the Arno, and some rare states like Saint Amo and the tortures on the market place

Important valuable work, you will hardly find inventory like this on the market elsewhere.

Guaranteed original Callot                 Guaranteed early impressions

Other prints by Jacques Callot Several standalone works

Saint Amo
State III with the name of Callot but before the reducing of the cross.
L.406 ( III / V ) - RRR
19,70 by 28 cm

Plate dated 1627 by Meaume and 1621/22 by Lieure.
The Bishop was identified as St Nicholas or as St Severin; however, it is now identified as St Amo, second Bishop of Toul and successor of St Mansuey.

Woody landscape with, at right, on rising ground, a Bishop preaching to a crowd, among whom a soldier, standing in the foreground at right, and seen from behind; in the distance, at l, a small church, with priest standing next to a well at right and baptizing two figures in the presence of two others, and another priest at left baptizing three figures in the presence of two

Battaglia del Re Tessi e del Re Tinta, festa rapresentata in Firenze nel fiume d'Arno il di XXV di Luglio 1619
L.302 ( II / II ) - RR
22,50 by 30 cm
Printed fan showing the ceremonial Battle between King Weaver and King Dyer on the Arno in 1619; in the foreground, a crowd gathered on the river bank attends the ceremony; in ornate border, with grotesque mask at the bottom.

1619. Florence; an artificial hill was built in the middle of the river, and teams from the two guilds fought for its possession. The print was made at the expense of the Grand Duke before the event, and the fans were distributed to the spectators, and were to be mounted on wooden boards. One of these fans can be seen on the plate itself: it is held by a figure seated on the volute formed by the border on the r.

Supplicium sceleri Fraenum / Les Supplices
L.1402 ( II-III / VII ) - RRR-RR
Early state with tower and guide lines for text still visible

Various buildings surrounding a square within which are gallows and the executioner's scaffold, and groups of people between. c.1624/34
The plate is not dated and, as the first four states do not bear Henriet's excudit,

It is likely it was engraved before 1630 (date marking the beginning of the collaboration between the publisher and the artist). Meaume dates it as early as 1624; Lieure however places it in the year 1634.The preparatory drawing for the plate is in the British Museum



L.369 ( V / VI )
A fifth state with the address of M. Vincent.
A public square, with people walking down the stairs of a building on the left and a crowd gathered at the bottom of a tower on the right; in the middle, two groups of figures; the one on the left is leaded by a man in Turkish costume. The general view is that Callot never finished the plate, which was completed after the artist's death by Henriet or another artist (maybe Collignon), who added the view of Paris in the background and, for plausibility reasons, the date '1629' (which corresponds to Callot's stay in Paris). The preparatory drawing, which shows an Italian harbour rather than a view of Paris, tends to confirm this theory. However, Mariette and Meaume do not reject the possibility of Callot finishing the plate himself in 1629;  In any case, the composition seems to have been designed c.1619/20.The subject of the plate has also been discussed; it appears that the scene actually represents a group of Christian prisoners (or slaves) being freed, an interpretation that would be confirmed by an annotation (perhaps written by Callot himself) at the back of the preparatory drawing: 'redimere captivum'.
L.670 ( I / II )
A first state before the address of Isreal and on double C watermarked paper as expected by Lieure for this state
16 by 32,40 cm

The saint is tied to a post in the middle of a landscape, with soldiers gathered on the surrounding ruins and mounds; two soldiers shooting arrows in the foreground, at left; amphitheatre in ruins in the middleground, at left. c.1631/33. Etching. Meaume dates the plate from 1623, but the subject rather suggests a connection with the plague which struck Lorraine around 1631; Callot's father was a victim of this epidemy.
Moreover, Glikman ('Jacques Callot', Leningrad, 1959) observes that some figures from the preparatory drawings for the plate (now at the Hermitage, St Petersbourg) also appear on the 'Grandes Misères de la Guerre' set, published in 1633. It is thus likely that the Martyrdom of St Sebastian was executed c.1631/33.
L.374 (final state)
12,50 by 23 cm

A final state with the publishers address of M. Vincent not recorded. Vincent also published the original plate 'the slave market' see above.

Procession of gypsies going to right; leading them is a man carrying a spear on his shoulder, and two women on horseback; the rest of the group is formed by figures walking alongside a cart. c.1621/31
Etching, with some engraving. From a set of four plates representing gypsies. The series was probably designed and engraved after Callot's return to Nancy (1621); indeed, one of the preparatory drawings (today in the Hrmitage Museum, St Petersburg, T.1122) was drawn on paper from Lorraine (see the watermark representing a bunch of grapes), and the first state of the set was printed on paper bearing a watermark representing the initials of Charle sIV of Lorraine. It was probably published before 1630/31, when Callot entrusted his plates to his new publisher Henriet.
L.671 ( II / II )
Adoration of Magi; the three kings come from the right, followed by long procession stretching to the background; two of them kneel before Christ Child, seated on Virgin's knees at left; St Joseph stands behind; page boy holding a vase in the foreground at left.
According to Mariette, this is one of the first plates engraved after Callot's return to Nancy (1621). However, Meaume dates it from 1631.

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