Harris Schrank Fine Prints

Jacques Callot's Spectacular Combat at the Barrier

Jacques Callot's Spectacular Combat at the Barrier

Jacques Callot (1582-1635)

Jacques Callot (1582-1635), the renowned French printmaker, was commissioned in 1627 to illustrate the magnificent festival in honor of the beautiful Duchess of Chevreuse, who was in exile at the Lorraine court after the discovery of her part in a plot against Richelieu.

The ten etchings of the Combat at the Barrier set illustrate the magnificent chariots and floats accompanying the luminaries as they entered the tournament arena, as well as the arena itself during the joust for the favor of the Duchess between the Duke Charles IV of Lorraine and the Prince of Phalsbourg.

Image Credit:

Jacques Callot, Combat à la Barriére, detail

Jacques Callot

Frontispiece

1627

155 x 109 mm

etching

The frontispiece features the Three Graces surrounding the Arms of the Duchess of Chevreuse

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Jacques Callot

Entrance of the Prince of Phalsbourg

1627

153 x 242 mm

etching

An allegory of Love, followed by Apollo and the planets; fame guides the second chariot, then 20 pages, Mars and Hercules, and Cupid.

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Jacques Callot, Combat à la Barriére, detail

Jacques Callot

Entrée de M. De Macey

1627

153 x 242 mm

etching

A beautiful composition, not overly embellished, with drummers and flute players leading the march.

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Callot

Entrance of Vroncourt, Tyllon and Marimont, raised up on a dolphin.

1627

153 x 242 mm

etching

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Jacques Callot, Combat à la Barriére, detail

Callot

Entrance of Couvonge and Chalabre

1627

153 x 242 mm

etching

With the demons and representatives of Hell, this appearance caused an uproar in the arena - and it's one of the most memorable images of the set.

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Callot

Entrance of Brionne

1627

153 x 242 mm

etching

With Jason and the Argonauts, the Island of Colchos, and a palace on a rock.

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Jacques Callot, Combat à la Barriére, detail

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Entrance of Henry of Lorraine

Callot

1627

153 x 242 mm

etching

Chariots are followed by floats of large birds, and an angry giant lizard.

Callot

Entrance of the Duke Charles IV

1627

153 x 242 mm

etching

Also known as Entry of His Highness Representing the Sun

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Callot

Parade on Foot

1627

153 x 242 mm

etching

The box for ladies is at the left, the Duchess in the front row; above the crowd is a cloud machine from which light blazes.

Callot

The Combat at the Barrier

1627

153 x 242

etching

The culminating plate, with the 2 combatants, the cloud at the right along with the parked festival carts.

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Jacques Callot began his artistic career as an apprentice engraver in Rome, but his career blossomed in Florence, where he learned the process of etching, inventing new etching techniques, and eventually becoming a towering figure in the art of printmaking. By 1627, the year of the “Combat”, his fame was well-established; he had created many sets of prints such as the Beggars, the Balli di Sfessania, sets of the Large and Small Passions, Capricci, as well as well-known individual plates such as The Fan and the massive Fair at Impruneta, which many consider the most accomplished etching ever made.

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