- Purchased, 1986
- 82 x 186mm
In 1633 France, under Louis XIII, invaded the Dukedom of Lorraine and attacked its capital, Nancy. The countryside was over-run, pillaged and burned by marauding French soldiers. The Gallows Tree shows the fate of some of those who enlisted to defend their land. The etching is plate 11 in a series of 18. They were Jacques Callot’s pungent comment on the effects of this invasion. The images are deliberately brutal and their potential to shock is not diminished by their tiny scale nor by the intricacy of the detail. Callot was born in Nancy where his landowner father was the Master of Ceremonies to the Duke of Lorraine Nancy. In 1608, aged 15, he took up an apprenticeship in Rome. In 1612 he moved to Florence and was employed by Cosimo 2nd de Medici, Grand-duke of Tuscany. Callot returned to Nancy in 1621. The Miseries and Misfortunes of War etchings were first published in Paris in 1633. This plate is from a smaller, later version published in 1636.