Jacques Callot, Complete Series of Lux Claustri (The Light of the Prison), 1628

Signed Jacques Callot engraving, Complete Series of Lux Claustri (The Light of the Prison), 1628

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Artist:Jacques Callot (1592 - 1635)

Title:Complete Series of Lux Claustri (The Light of the Prison), 1628

Medium:Original Engravings

Image Size:3 1/4 in x 2 1/2 in (8.3 cm x 6.4 cm) each

Sheet Size:3 1/4 in x 2 1/2 in (8.3 cm x 6.4 cm) each

Edition:Lieure State II/II with the numbers printed in the plate in the upper left corners.

Signature:Signed in the plate in the first print (frontispiece) in the lower right 'Jac. Callot fe.'

Condition:These works are in excellent condition; slight paper thinning and foxing with all 27 trimmed along the plate mark.

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Gallery Price:
Item # 3780
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Historical Description of this artwork

A series composed of 27 strange and mysterious works, Lux Claustri (The Light of the Prison) praises a life of monastic seclusion and piety in contrast to the outside world of sin. Originally part of an emblem book with brief accompanying Latin and French phrases, these works depict curious scenes that encourage private contemplation. The series begins with the frontispiece, an image of Christ the Redeemer with Saint Bruno, Francis of Assisi, and Bernard of Clairvaux (Schroder, pg. 1171). From there, the series continues to depict various images of life and death, the natural and the supernatural, the everyday and the extraordinary. Nearly all of the images take place in a secluded outdoor setting, where “civilization” is barely visible in the far distance, relaying the overall sentiment that life away from the corrupt world of men is both admirable and beautiful.

Created in 1628, this complete set of 27 works from the series Lux Claustri (The Light of the Prison) is a Lieure State II/II, with the numbers printed in the plates in the upper left corners of the prints. The first print (frontispiece) is signed in the plate in the lower right ‘Jac. Callot fe.’

1. Schroder, Thomas. Jacques Callot: Das gesamte Werk Druckgraphik Volume 2. Munich: Verlag Rogner & Bernhard GMBH. Listed on pages 1171 – 1184.

2. A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany this work.

Museum-grade conservation framed in a complementary moulding with silk mats and optical grade Plexiglas.

What Do I Get With My Purchase?

The Certificate of Authenticity accompanies this work, guaranteeing its authenticity for as long as you own it.

All catalogue raisonné and historical documentation is included with your purchase.

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Why Callot?

Find original etchings and engravings by French artist Jacques Callot, who traveled to Italy. His personal idiom mixes the commedia dell'arte with images of beggars and the picaresque.

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Artistic Styles of Callot

Jacques Callot Complete Biography

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jacques callot etchings and engravings
Jacques Callot (1592-1635)

Jacques Callot Biography

French engraver and draughtsman. Jacques Callot went to Italy when he was in his teens and, working in Rome and then in Florence at the court of the Grand Duke Cosimc II (1590-1621), he learned to combine the sophisticated techniques and exaggerations of late Mannerism with witty and acute observation into a brilliantly expressive idiom. Returning to France in 1621 he became one of the chief exponents of the bizarre and grotesque which came into vogue in the reign of Louis XIII (1601-43). Most of the remainder of his career was spent in his native Nancy, but he also worked in Paris and the Low Countries. He made a specialty of beggars and deformities, characters from the picaresque novel and the Italian commedia dell’arte. In this respect he comes close to Bellange, also active in Nancy, but Callot’s style was more realistic. His last great work, the series of etchings entitled the Grandes Miséres de la Guerre followed the invasion of Lorraine by Car Richelieu in 1633, and is a harrowing depiction the atrocities of war; its themes and imagery were used as a source by Goya. His output was prodigious; more than a thousand Callot etchings and drawings by him are extant, and some of his plates are large, featuring scores of brilliantly arranged figures. Jacques Callot was one of the greatest of all etchers and one of the first major creative artists to work exclusively in the graphic arts.

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