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Summary Article: Callot, Jacques (c. 1592–1635)
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

French engraver and painter. He was influenced by Mannerism. His series of etchings Great Miseries of War (1633), prompted by his own experience of the Thirty Years' War, are arrestingly composed and full of horrific detail. He is regarded as one of the greatest etchers, and his enormous output includes over 1,400 prints and 1,500 drawings.

In his preferred medium of etching he gives an intensely vivid view of his disturbed epoch, when Lorraine was ravaged by war, following the scenes of vagabondage of Les Barons (tramps and displaced persons) 1622, and Les Bohémiens 1631. A remarkable imagination is also seen in his renderings of the Temptation of St Anthony, which recall the visions of Hieronymus Bosch. He was rapid and impatient in his work, and all his prints are marked by vigour and animation. His love of the grotesque was later to influence Goya.

After early picaresque wandering, with Italy as his objective, he studied engraving in Rome, and was in Florence 1612–21, working at the court of Cosimo de' Medici. There he achieved great success with engravings of the crowded scenes of fairs and festivals, and characters of the commedia dell'arte (improvised comic drama).

He returned to serve with the Duke of Lorraine, being much in demand for scenes of battle and siege. He visited the Low Countries to gather the material for his Siege of Breda, and later Louis XIII of France engaged him to engrave other war pictures, among which is the Siege of La Rochelle.

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