Frontispiece, Les Misères et les Malheurs de la Guerre [The Miseries and Misfortunes of War]
Callot, an artist from the town of Nancy in Lorraine, was a master of the art of etching. His first hand experience of the terror, violence, and suffering of war was shown in his etchings celebrating sieges won by Spanish and French rulers during the Thirty Years War. Those were followed by his most famous works, his two series on Les Misères et les Malheurs de la Guerre. They consist of 18 large plates published by Israel, “avec privilege du roi” in Paris in 1633, and six small plates appearing in 1635. (The Picker owns the 18 large plates and #4 from the small set.) In them, he was free to express his own feelings, having won financial independence by this point in his career, when he was also ill and close to death. Each plate is inscribed with a six-line poetic caption virulently condemning the murder, torture, rape, and theft soldiers commit.
Lieure, Jules, and Jacques Callot. Jacques Callot: catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre gravé. San Francisco: Alan Wofsy Fine Arts, 1989, cat. 1399 iii/iii.