Callot, Jacques, The Fair at Gondreville, c. 1624-25
|Artiste:||Callot, Jacques (1592 - 1635)|
|Titre:||The Fair at Gondreville, c. 1624-25|
|Taille d'image:||13 1/4 in x 7 1/8 in (33.7 cm x 18.1 cm)|
|Taille de feuille:||13 1/4 in x 7 1/8 in (33.7 cm x 18.1 cm)|
|Taille encadrée:||approx. 24 in x 18 in (61 cm x 45.7 cm)|
|Signé:||Signed in the plate in the lower left 'Ja. Callot fe. Nanceij'|
|Condition:||This work is in good condition; backed on a thick wove paper with vertical fold crease down the center and small tear to the lower left; trimmed along the plate mark.|
Depicting the splendor and joy that accompanies a fair, this work is filled with subtle details that contribute to its overall charm. At the center of a village, we witness its residents participating in jubilant activities. Figures join hands in the center and dance in a circle while others to the right climb a tree and play musical instruments. To the left, a few members of the community cook while, to the right, a man daydreams, lying against a wheelbarrow. A child holding a bag of apples is taunted by bullies while figures on horseback sit calmly, immersed in a crowd of conversers. Callot transports us into the scene, allowing us to share in the contagious merriment of this village fair. His ability to convey immense detail through delicate line work once more shines through. The figures are tiny in comparison to the overall scene, yet we grasp a distinct sense of their personalities based largely upon their gestural qualities. Callot accurately captures a sense of depth and perspective as the scene pans out into the far distance to the extent that we witness minute figures walking near the structures upon the horizon.
Created c. 1624 - 1625, this piece is signed in the plate in the lower left 'Ja. Callot fe. Nanceij.'
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Jacques Callot biographie
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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