Martyrdom of St. Lawrence

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Jacques Callot, (born March–August 1592, Nancy, France—died March 24, 1635, Nancy), French printmaker who was one of the first great artists to practice the graphic arts exclusively. His innovative series of prints documenting the horrors of war greatly influenced the socially conscious artists of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Callot’s career was divided into an Italian period (c. 1609–21) and a Lorraine (France) period (from 1621 until his death). He learned the technique of engraving under Philippe Thomassin in Rome. About 1612 he went to Florence. At that time Medici patronage expended itself almost exclusively in feste, quasi-dramatic pageants, sometimes dealing in allegorical subjects, and Callot was employed to make pictorial records of these mannered, sophisticated entertainments. He succeeded in evolving a naturalistic style while preserving the artificiality of the occasion, organizing a composition as if it were a stage setting and reducing the figures to a tiny scale, each one indicated by the fewest possible strokes. This required a very fine etching technique. His breadth of observation, his lively figure style, and his skill in assembling a large, jostling crowd secured for his etchings a lasting popular influence all over Europe.

Artist

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3×4

Medium

Etching