Baroque and Rococo


Baroque and Rococo Art Map

Jacques Callot


Jacques Callot

born 1592/93, Nancy, France
died March 24, 1635, Nancy

French printmaker who was one of the first great artists to practice the graphic arts exclusively. His innovative series of prints documenting the horrors of war greatly influenced the socially conscious artists of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Callot's career was divided into an Italian period (c. 1609–21) and a Lorraine (France) period (from 1621 until his death). He learned the technique of engraving under Philippe Thomassin in Rome. About 1612 he went to Florence. At that time Medici patronage expended itself almost exclusively in feste, quasi-dramatic pageants, sometimes dealing in allegorical subjects, and Callot was employed to make pictorial records of these mannered, sophisticated entertainments. He succeeded in evolving a naturalistic style while preserving the artificiality of the occasion, organizing a composition as if it were a stage setting and reducing the figures to a tiny scale, each one indicated by the fewest possible strokes. This required a very fine etchingtechnique. His breadth of observation, his lively figure style, and his skill in assembling a large, jostling crowd secured for his etchings a lasting popular influence all over Europe.
Callot also had a genius for caricature and the grotesque. His series of plates of single figures—for example, the “Dance of Sfessania,” the “Caprices of Various Figures,” and the “Hunchbacks”—are witty and picturesque and show a rare eye for factual detail.
With a few exceptions, the subject matter of the etchings of the Lorraine period is less frivolous, and Callot was hardly employed at all by the court at Nancy. He illustrated sacred books, made a series of plates of the Apostles, and visited Paris to etch animated maps of the sieges of La Rochelle and the Ile de Re. In his last great series of etchings, the “small” (1632) and the “large” (1633) “Miseries of War,” he brought his documentary genius to bear on the atrocities of the Thirty Years' War. Callot is also well known for his landscape drawings in line and wash and for his quick figure studies in chalk.





Prince Phalsbourg


An Angry Warrior


The Temptation of Saint Anthony


Audiencia con el papa


Bautismo del principe de Espana


Boda de la reina de Espana


Peasant squatting


The Battle of Avigliana

after 1631
Etching, 352 x 521 mm
Various collections


The Holy Family at Table

Etching, 190 x 165 mm
Various collections


View of the Seine in Paris

Etching, 167 x 339 mm
Museum Mayer van den Bergh, Antwerp


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