Jacques Callot

Jacques Callot (French: [ʒak kalo]; c. 1592 – 1635) was a baroque printmaker and draftsman from the Duchy of Lorraine[1] (an independent state on the north-eastern border of France, southwestern border of Germany and overlapping the southern Netherlands). He is an important person in the development of the old master print. He made more than 1,400 etchings that chronicled the life of his period, featuring soldiers, clowns, drunkards, Gypsies, beggars, as well as court life. He also etched many religious and military images, and many prints featured extensive landscapes in their background.

Jacobus Callot after A. van Dyck
Jacques Callot, Lucas Vorsterman the Elder after Anthony van Dyck

Life and training

Jacques Callot - The Stag Hunt - Google Art Project
The Large Hunt, a famous technical showpiece

Callot was born and died in Nancy, the capital of Lorraine, now in France. He came from an important family (his father was master of ceremonies at the court of the Duke), and he often describes himself as having noble status in the inscriptions to his prints. At the age of fifteen he was apprenticed to a goldsmith, but soon afterward travelled to Rome where he learned engraving from an expatriate Frenchman, Philippe Thomassin. He probably then studied etching with Antonio Tempesta in Florence, where he lived from 1612 to 1621. More than 2,000 preparatory drawings and studies for prints survive, but no paintings by him are known, and he probably never trained as a painter.

During his period in Florence he became an independent master, and worked often for the Medici court. After the death of Cosimo II de' Medici during 1621, he returned to Nancy where he lived for the rest of his life, visiting Paris and the Netherlands later during the decade. He was commissioned by the courts of Lorraine, France and Spain, and by publishers, mostly in Paris. Although he remained in Nancy, his prints were distributed widely through Europe; Rembrandt was a keen collector of them.

Technical innovations: échoppe, new hard ground, stopping-out

Jacques Callot Massacre des Innocents
Massacre of the Innocents, showing the use of multiple stoppings-out to create the fainter lines of the distant view. 13.7 x 10.5 cm

His technique was exceptional, and was helped by important technical advances he made. He developed the échoppe, a type of etching-needle with a slanting oval section at the end, which enabled etchers to create a swelling line, as engravers were able to do.

He also seems to have been responsible for an improved recipe for the etching ground that coated the plate and was removed to form the image, using lute-makers varnish rather than a wax-based formula. This enabled lines to be etched more deeply, prolonging the life of the plate in printing, and also greatly reducing the risk of "foul-biting", such that acid gets through the ground to the plate where it is not intended to, producing spots or blotches on the image. Previously the risk of foul-biting had always been present, preventing an engraver from investing too much time on a single plate that risked being ruined by foul-biting. Now etchers could do the very detailed work that was previously the monopoly of engravers, and Callot made good use of the new possibilities.

He also made more extensive and sophisticated use of multiple "stoppings-out" than previous etchers had done. This is the technique of letting the acid dissolve lightly over the whole plate, then stopping-out those parts of the work which the artist wishes to keep shallow by covering them with ground before bathing the plate in acid again. He achieved unprecedented subtlety in effects of distance and light and shade by careful control of this process. Most of his prints were relatively small – as much as about six inches or 15 cm on their longest dimension.

One of his devotees, the Parisian Abraham Bosse spread Callot's innovations all over Europe with the first published manual of etching, which was translated into Italian, Dutch, German and English.

Miseries of War

His most famous prints are his two series of prints each on "the Miseries and Misfortunes of War". These are known as Les Grandes Misères de la guerre, consisting of 18 prints published during 1633, and the earlier and incomplete Les Petites Misères — referring to their sizes, large and small (though even the large set are only about 8 x 13 cm). These images show soldiers pillaging and burning their way through towns, country and convents, before being variously arrested and executed by their superiors, lynched by peasants, or surviving to live as crippled beggars. At the end the generals are rewarded by their monarch. During 1633, the year the larger set was published, Lorraine had been invaded by the French during the Thirty Years' War and Callot's artwork is still noted with Francisco Goya's Los Desastres de la Guerra (The Disasters of War), which was influenced by Callot - (Goya owned a series of the prints)[2], as among the most powerful artistic statements of the inhumanity of war.

Grotesque Dwarves

Callot's series of "Grotesque Dwarves" were to inspire Derby porcelain and other companies to create pottery figures known as "Mansion House Dwarves" or "Grotesque Dwarves". The former title comes from a father and son who were paid to wander around the Mansion House in London wearing oversized hats that contained advertisements.[3]

Varie Figure Gobbi - Series of 21 etchings, 1616

1620 Callot Varie Figure Gobbi anagoria

Varie Figure Gobbi, Städelsches Kunstinstitut

1620 Callot Der Maskierte mit verdrehten Beinen anagoria

Masked Dwarf with Contorted Legs

1620 Callot Zwergkrüppel mit Kapuze anagoria

Crippled Dwarf with Hood

1620 Callot Der Zwerg mit dem dicken Bauch anagoria

The Fat Dwarf

1620 Callot Der Zwerg mit dem Buckel anagoria

The Hunchbacked Dwarf

1620 Callot Zwerg mit Hängebauch und hohem Hut anagoria

The Potbellied Dwarf with the Tall Hat

1620 Callot Zwerg mit Violine anagoria

Dwarf with Violin

Jacques Callot V

Example of Jacques Callot's work.

Other notable works

Jacques Callot - La foire d'Impruneta, 1620
The Fair at Impruneta, 1620
  • A large series depicting commedia dell'arte figures called Balli di Sfessania, in a simple, caricature-like style, from his years in Florence.
  • Series on the Lives of Christ and Mary.
  • Series on the story of the Prodigal Son.
  • The Giant Tifeo beneath Mount Ischia (1617).
  • The Fair at Impruneta (1620).
  • The Fair at Gondreville (1624).
  • The Temptation of St Anthony (1635, Fitzwillaim Museum).Temptation of Saint Anthony


  1. ^ Wikisource Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Callot, Jacques" . Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  2. ^ Chase Maenius. The Art of War[s]: Paintings of Heroes, Horrors and History. 2014. ISBN 978-1320309554
  3. ^ Mansion House Dwarves, Digital Hybridity, Derby University, accessed August 2011


  • A Hyatt Mayor, Prints and People, Metropolitan Museum of Art/Princeton, 1971, nos 455–460.ISBN 0-691-00326-2.
  • DP Becker in KL Spangeberg (ed), Six Centuries of Master Prints, Cincinnati Art Museum, 1993, no 74 (Large Miseries of War), ISBN 0-931537-15-0.

External links

1592 in art

The year 1592 in art involved some significant events and new works.

Anton Francesco Lucini

Anton Francesco Lucini (1610 – after 1661) was an Italian engraver and printmaker, best known for his etchings of the work Dell'Arcano del Mare by Sir Robert Dudley.

Lucini was born at Florence and he studied etching under Stefano della Bella and Jacques Callot, who had lived in Florence 1612–1621, and whose prints imparted a strong influence to florentine printmakers.

Lucini worked at a series of engravings entitled Disegni della guerra, assedio dell'armata turchesca all'Isola di Malta l'anno MDXLV published in Bologna (1631). Then he worked at the monumental work Dell'arcano del mare by Sir Robert Dudley published in Florence 1646–1647. The distinctive Baroque style of Dudley's charts is attributable to the elegant engraving of Antonio Francesco Lucini, who stated that he spent 12 years and used 5,000 pounds of copper to produce the plates of exceptional quality.


Callot is a French surname. People named Callot include:

Henri Callot (1875–1956), French fencer

Jacques Callot (c. 1592 – 1635), French printmaker

Jean-Baptiste-Irénée Callot (1814–1875), French Roman Catholic Bishop


Cucurucu is the brother of Pulcinella, and a zanni character in commedia dell'arte. Like Pulcinella, Cucurucu's name is probably derived from a bird noise.He figures in the comic madrigal "Chichilichichì Cucurucù," attributed to Giovanni Domenico da Nola, and the madrigal "Chi Chi Li Chi" by Andrea Gabrieli, along with Lucia and Martina. A sketch by Jacques Callot shows him with another zanni, Razullo.

François Collignon

François Collignon (c. 1609 – 18 January 1687) was a French engraver, print-seller and publisher.

Collignon was born in Nancy, France. He initially locally trained in the studio of Jacques Callot. After 1630 he moved to Italy where he continued his studies and established his own business. Although he started as an engraver, Collignon became a major figure in publishing and print-selling. Artists he produced works for included Pietro Testa, Cornelis Bloemaert, Pietro da Cortona, Nicolas Poussin, Charles Le Brun, Simon Vouet, and Jean Le Pautre. He died in Rome January 18, 1687.

The Flemish publisher and engraver Arnold van Westerhout who lived in Rome at that time bought the stock of François Collignon after his death in 1687.

Gabriel Perelle

Gabriel Perelle (born 1604 in Vernon, Eure, died 1677 in Paris) was a French draftsman and printmaker of topographic views and landscapes.A pupil of Simon Vouet, Perelle specialized in classical landscapes not dissimilar to those of Francisque Millet, although more obviously decorative. He founded an etching workshop, and his sons Nicolas and Adam assisted him.Perelle was also a pupil of Daniel Rabel and produced several hundred engravings both from his own drawings and from those of his competitors Israël Silvestre, Paul Bril, Jacques Callot, Michel Corneille the Elder, Jan Asselijn, Jacques Fouquières, Cornelis Poelenburg, and Sébastien Pontault de Beaulieu. These engravings in the etching and intaglio mainly depict landscapes of the Paris region, including views of castles, where he introduced the variety by adding ruins and various accessories.

Giacomo Ceruti

Giacomo Antonio Melchiorre Ceruti (October 13, 1698 – August 28, 1767) was an Italian late Baroque painter, active in Northern Italy in Milan, Brescia, and Venice. He acquired the nickname Pitocchetto (the little beggar) for his many paintings of peasants dressed in rags.

He was born in Milan, but worked primarily in Brescia. He may have been influenced early by Antonio Cifrondi and/or Giacomo Todesco (Todeschini), and received training from Carlo Ceresa. While he also painted still-life paintings and religious scenes, Ceruti is best known for his genre paintings, especially of beggars and the poor, whom he painted realistically and endowed with unusual dignity and individuality.

Ceruti gave particular attention to this subject matter during the period 1725 to 1740, and about 50 of his genre paintings from these years survive. Mira Pajes Merriman, in her essay titled Comedy, Reality, and the Development of Genre Painting in Italy, observes that "Generally his figures do almost nothing—after all, they have nothing to do." She describes his paintings as confronting us withthe detritus of the community; the displaced and homeless poor; the old and the young with their ubiquitous spindles, eloquent signs of their situationless poverty and unwanted labor; orphans in their orderly, joyless asylums plying their unpaid toil; urchins of the streets eking out small coins as porters, and sating them in gambling; the diseased, palsied, and deformed; lonely vagabonds; even a stranger from Africa—and all in tatters and filthy rags, almost all with eyes that address us directly...

A characteristic painting is his Woman with a Dog which portrays a rather plain subject sympathetically and without idealization. Like most of his figures, she appears before an undifferentiated dark background; when Ceruti attempted to represent deep space, the results were frequently awkward. His landscape backgrounds resemble stage flats and are often copied from print sources, such as the engravings of Jacques Callot. The realism Ceruti brought to his genre paintings also distinguishes his portraits and still lifes, while it is less apparent in his somewhat conventional decorative paintings for churches, including frescoes for the Basilica Santa Maria Assunta of Gandino and an altarpiece for Santa Lucia in Padua. This limitation is not unique to Ceruti; the Brescian painter from the late 16th century, Giovanni Battista Moroni, was similarly known for expressive portraits, and drab religious paintings.

Giuliano Periccioli

Giuliano Periccioli (active 1639-1649) was an Italian engraver and cartographer.

He is said to have been born in Siena, but notes indicate he was hired by Charles I, King of England, to draw scenes from the Levant, and he traveled to England, after having been to Constantinople, Candia, Rhodes, Alexandria, Sicily and Spain. Prince Rupert of the Rhine brought him to the Siege of Breda. He then went to France, and the King of England, having recalled him, tried to send him to Italy in 1639. He then entered the service of Mattias de' Medici, Prince of Tuscany, who procured for him the Grand Duke, where he engraved various events. Some of the drawings in plates of the book Arcano del mare del duca di Nortumbria, whose nautical charts were drawn up by Lucas Holstenius are attributed to Periccioli. Jacques Callot is said to engraved after one of his designs.


Gli Innamorati (Italian: [ʎ innamoˈraːti], meaning "The Lovers") were stock characters within the theatre style known as commedia dell'arte, which appeared in 16th century Italy. In the plays everything revolves around the Lovers in some regard. These characters were present within commedia plays for the sole purpose of being in love with one another, and moreover with themselves. Despite facing many obstacles, the Lovers are always united by the end.

Israel Silvestre

Israel Silvestre (13 August 1621 in Nancy – 11 October 1691 in Paris), called the Younger to distinguish him from his father, was a prolific French draftsman, etcher and print dealer who specialized in topographical views and perspectives of famous buildings.

Orphaned at an early age, he was taken in by his uncle in Paris, Israel Henriet, an etcher and print-seller, and friend of Jacques Callot. Between 1630 and 1650 Silvestre travelled widely in France, Spain and Italy, which he visited three times, and later worked up his sketches as etchings, which were sold singly and in series. His work, especially of Venetian subjects published in the 1660s, influenced eighteenth-century painters of vedute such as Luca Carlevaris and Canaletto, who adapted his compositions.

In 1661 he inherited the stock of plates of his uncle, the printseller Israel Henriet, among which was a large part of the works of Callot, and many of those of Stefano della Bella. In 1662 he was appointed dessinateur et graveur du Roi and in 1673 he was appointed drawing-master to Louis, le Grand Dauphin. From 1668 he was granted workshop space in the galleries of the Louvre, where the practice of housing eminent artists and craftsmen was a tradition that was originated under Henri IV. Silvestre's atelier was large: he had at least two pupils who had separate careers as engravers, François Noblesse and Meunier. In 1670 Charles Le Brun recommended him for membership in the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture. In 1675 his son, the artist Louis de Silvestre, was born at Sceaux.

At his death he left a large collection of drawings, more than a thousand engravings, and other works of art to his sons, whose own artistic tastes he had nurtured. The family collection was sold at auction in 1810.

Les Grandes Misères de la guerre

Les Grandes Misères de la guerre (French pronunciation: ​[lɛ ɡʁɑ̃d mizɛʁ də la ɡɛʁ], The Great Miseries of War or The Miseries and Misfortunes of War) are a series of 18 etchings by French artist Jacques Callot (1592–1635), titled in full Les Misères et les Malheurs de la Guerre. Despite the grand theme of the series, the images are in fact only about 83 mm × 180 mm each, and are called the "large" Miseries to distinguish them from an even smaller earlier set on the same subject. The series, published in 1633, is Callot's best-known work and has been called the first "anti-war statement" in European art. It can also be considered as an early prototypical French comic strip, within the text comics genre, since the illustrations are accompanied by a descriptive text beneath the images.

List of caricaturists

A caricaturist is an artist who specializes in drawing caricatures.

Nicolas Cochin

Nicolas Cochin (1610–1686), called the Elder, was a French draughtsman and engraver. He was born at Troyes in 1610, the son of a painter named Noel Cochin. About 1635, he went to Paris, where he died in 1686. He often imitated and copied Jacques Callot, but chose for his model Stefano della Bella, some of whose

drawings he engraved. Like these two artists he excelled in small figures, which he grouped and delineated with lifelike animation. His specialty was topography, including battles, sieges, and encampments. He engraved several hundred subjects, the most important of which are those he executed for the "Glorieuses Conquêtes de Louis le Grand", called the "Grand Beaulieu", published between 1676 and 1694. The best of these plates may be the "Siege of Arras", engraved on 16 plates by Cochin and Jean Frosne.

Cochin is the best of the engravers whom Troyes has produced. His drawing is firm, and his engraving fine and delicate. His plates are marked with his name in full, or with his initials only, or with a monogram. M. Corrard de Breban has given in his "Graveurs Troyens", 1868, a list of Cochin's works, among which the following are noteworthy:

The Life of the Virgin; after Albrecht Dürer; 18 plates

The Marriage in Cana; after Paolo Veronese

The Miracle of the Loaves; after Devos

The Parable of the Prodigal Son; after Audran; 4 plates

Christ bearing the Cross; after Callot

The Ascension of the Virgin; after the same

The Passion; 12 plates

The Conversion of St. Paul

The Procession of St. Genevieve in 1652; extremely curious

The Entry of Louis XIV. and his Queen into Paris in 1660; an enormous work composed of several plates.

The Entry of the Queen of Sweden. 1658.

The Fair of Guibray; after F. Chauvel. 1658.

Portrait of Boutmie, the goldsmith; rare and highly esteemed.

View of Tournay; after Van der Meulen; 2 sheets.

Pinacoteca Domenico Inzaghi, Budrio

The Pinacoteca Domenico Inzaghi is an art museum, exhibiting mainly paintings and engravings, located in Palazzo della Partecipanza, Via Mentana 32, in Budrio, Italy.

Most of the collection was donated to an agrarian collective known as La Partizipanza in 1821 by Captain Domenico Inzaghi. In 1931, the collection was donated to the commune (municipality) of Budrio. The pinacoteca or painting gallery was inaugurated that year, under curation by Antonio Certani.

In 1988-1989, the museum was restructured, and the collection augmented by paintings from the Opera Pia Bianchi and the Fondazione Benni di Bologna. The paintings represent Bolognese-Emilian artists from the 14th to 18th centuries, including Vitale da Bologna, Dosso Dossi, Prospero Fontana, Lavinia Fontana, Cesare Gennari, Antonio Mezzadri, Felice Rubbiani, Simon Vouet, Tommaso Garelli, Cristoforo di Benedetto, Denis Calvaert, Bartolomeo Passerotti, Alessandro Tiarini, Mauro Gandolfi, and Antonio Ghedini; or works by or influenced by Cima da Conegliano, Francesco Francia, Dosso Dossi, Ludovico Carracci, Francesco Brizio, Guercino, or Guido Reni. They display engravings a by Francesco Curti, Vittorio Maria Bigari, Jacques Callot, and Antonio Sarti.


Razullo is a zanni figure in commedia dell'arte theatre. A sketch by Jacques Callot shows him with Cucurucu.

Remigio Cantagallina

Remigio Cantagallina (c. 1582–1656) was an Italian etcher active in the Baroque period.

He was born in Sansepolcro, formerly Borgo Santo Sepolcro, in the province of Arezzo. He is best known for his etchings of landscapes and religious subjects, influenced by Paul Bril. He was likely a pupil of the fellow-Florentine Giulio Parigi and Jacopo Ligozzi. In 1612–13 he traveled through the Dutch Republic, the Southern Netherlands, and France, which he documented in detailed drawings in pen and wash of buildings, houses, and cityscapes, complete with persons engaged at work or play in the foreground. His eye caught both the courtly celebrations and the peasant world. He produced detailed views of Brussels and Siena. Jacques Callot was reputed to be a pupil of Cantagallina, before the former moved to Rome to work with Antonio Tempesta. He also likely tutored Stefano della Bella. After 1648, he tutored in drawing the scientist and nature observer Francesco Redi. The engraver Niccolo Angeli was also his pupil.

He painted a Last Supper (1604) for the church of San Bartolomeo (now in Museo Civico) of Sansepolcro; aiding him in this painting was a relative, said to be a brother, Antonio Cantagallina (b. 1616), who distinguished himself as architect in his hometown and Livorno. Another relative, Gianfrancesco (Giovanni Francesco), was also an architect. He died at Florence.

Among his plates are landscapes, theatrical decorations, and triumphal entries: two landscapes; one with a bridge, the other with buildings; both dated 1603; Immaculate Conception after Callot; A set of four landscapes (1609); A further set of six landscapes; A set of twelve landscapes and an octagon marked with his initials; a set of six landscapes with his cipher (1624); A set of plates of the Scenes of an Opera after Giulio Parigi; and a set of plates, called the Palazzo della Fame(1608).

Salle de la Bouteille

The Salle de la Bouteille or Salle du Jeu de Paume de la Bouteille, later known as the Hôtel [de] Guénégaud or Guénégaud Theatre, was a 1671 theatre located in Paris, France, between the rue de Seine and the rue des Fossés de Nesle across from the rue Guénégaud (now 42 rue Mazarine, at its intersection with the rue Jacques Callot). It was the first home of the Paris Opera and in 1680 became the first theatre of the Comédie-Française.

Siege of La Rochelle

The Siege of La Rochelle (French: Le Siège de La Rochelle, or sometimes Le Grand Siège de La Rochelle) was a result of a war between the French royal forces of Louis XIII of France and the Huguenots of La Rochelle in 1627–28. The siege marked the height of the struggle between the Catholics and the Protestants in France, and ended with a complete victory for King Louis XIII and the Catholics.

Text comics

Text comics or a text comic is a form of comics where the stories are told in captions below the images and without the use of speech balloons. It is the oldest form of comics and was especially dominant in European comics from the 19th century until the 1950s, after which it gradually lost popularity in favor of comics with speech balloons.

The form is sometimes referred to as a pantomime comic too, even though text comics do make use of dialogue, only not in the images themselves.

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