A renowned artist from the high Baroque period known for his engravings and drawings. He was born and died in the French city of Nancy, in the province of Lorraine. However, he lived for many years in Paris and in Flanders, where he drew inspiration for his works depicting simple scenes from human life as well as exploring how people respond to politically determined events – particularly the events of war. His works include simple genre scenes, scenes with multiple figures depicting life in cities and rural communities, scenes from wartime, and passionate expressions of opposition to war. Although Callot’s figures are very small (he used magnifying glasses and microscopes when working), he managed to imbue them with convincing definition and life. With just a few strokes, he was able to precisely capture and comment on narrative scenes. If we slow down and examine his works in detail (preferably with the aid of a magnifying glass), we can discern countless different narratives, situations, relationships and activities in his multi-figural scenes. However, Callot was also skilled at capturing individual figures with great empathy and convincing authenticity. Here too his work encompasses a wide range of figures, from aristocrats to soldiers and beggars. The quality of his art is not restricted to his depictions of figures; he was also skilled at capturing landscapes, flora and fauna. It is no wonder that his graphic prints were much admired by Rembrandt or the Czech artist Václav Hollar.
Capture of the fortress at La Rochelle
Garden – from the cycle Four landscapes
Nobleman greeting with a hat in his hand – from the cycle School of Lorraine