CALLOT, Jacques
(b. 1592, Nancy, d. 1635, Nancy)

Florentine Fête

British Museum, London

Callot achieved his greatest success in engraving those public festivities with which the Grand Dukes sometimes amused the people of Florence; he found the brilliant idiom for rendering the action of those taking part. There are hundreds of people in this huge plate, and Callot displays great skill in forcing them into a coherent pattern.

Callot's technique in etching is highly personal. He found the current soft varnish inadequate to the delicacy which he sought and replaced it by the hard varnish employed by lute-makers, a habit in which etchers have followed him to the present day.