28 Feb > 02 May
Launch: 28 Feb 12 > 2pm
A TRAVELLING EXHIBITION FROM ALBURY CITY COLLECTION
Jacques Callot was one of the great artists of 17th Century Europe and the one most responsible for turning the technique of etching into an art. Callot was born in 1592 in Nancy, the capital of the duchy of Lorraine, then an independent republican state bordering on France. Defying his father and proving the validity of art as a career, in 1608, at age 16, he left his hometown for what is now Italy, with a group of gypsies. He spent the next 12 years mastering his artistic skills.
Callot was one of the very first artists to become an exclusively graphic artist with no known paintings attributed to him. While in Rome he studied for a short time with Antonio Tempesta, an Italian painter and engraver, before becoming an assistant to Philippe Thomassin; also an engraver and writer. Callot went on to become his own master under the patronage of the powerful Medici family which contributed to his celebrity-like status.
In 1621, following the death of his patron Cosimo II de' Medici, he returned to Nancy. On his return, Callot was commissioned to create prints for the courts of Lorraine, France and Spain, and for publishers in Paris. The subjects of his engravings ranged from everyday scenes from real life, such as beggars, drunks and gypsies, to topics of historical significance such as court scenes, religious depictions and soldiers.
The most famous of Callot's works, however, are his depictions of war and suffering. The Miseries and Misfortunes of War, published in 1633, contained two series of Callot's prints depicting the invasion of his republican homeland of Lorraine by the French monarch. Jacques Callot died on 24 March 1635, at the age of 43. His artworks are known to have influenced Francisco Goya in terms both of printmaking technique and themes. Dutch artist Rembrandt van Rijn was also known as an avid collector of his work. Drawn from the AlburyCity collection, this suite of etchings were collected by the foremost authority on Jacques Callot, Howard Daniel, who gifted the work to the Albury Art Gallery in the 1990's. The exhibition contains over 50 works from all his major series including the Miseries of War, Commedia dell'Arte and the Medici Landscapes and runs until 2 May 2015.