The Holy Family
Etching, circa 1628, signed in the plate "Jac. Callot In et fec Nancy", third state (of 4), before Sylvester's address, trimmed on the platemark
7 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches
Excellent condition, matted but unframed
Jacques Callot was one of the most significant printmakers of the early 16th century, and his work had a significant impact on the printmakers who followed him. Rembrandt, for example, studied his prints as he developed his own etching process and style. He worked as the court etcher at the Florentine court before returning to his hometown of Nancy.
While in Nancy he made this print depicting the Holy Family. He captures Mary, Joseph and a Young Christ in an intimate moment around the dinner table. It is a relatable moment as Callot depicts Joseph helping the Young Christ drink from a cup as some parents may help their own children. However, this moment carries a particular weight as he is foreshadowing the Last Supper where Christ asks his disciples to drink from his cup for the forgiveness of sins.
It is a beautiful impression of this print that has deep contrasts of black and white with the halos around Mary and Christ's head shining brightly.