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Monday, 23 December 2019

Jacques Callot's etching, “Crossing of the Red Sea”, 1629


Jacques Callot (1592–1635)

“Crossing of the Red Sea” (aka “Le Passage de la Mer Rouge”), 1629, with dedication in Latin by Callot to Israël Henriet (c.1590–1661), originally published by Israël Henriet and later published by Jacques Fagnani (fl.1699–1730) in 1712/3 and finally by the publisher, Vincent (c.1775–1800). This impression was taken after the publisher’s address for Vincent was erased for the fifth and final state.

Etching on fine laid paper, trimmed with a narrow margin around the image borderline and backed with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 12.7 x 23.5 cm; (image borderline) 11.7 x 23.3 cm.
Inscribed within the image borderline: (lower left) “Callot .f.”
Lettered below the image borderline in two lines of Latin text: (centre) “Tabulam Hanc Æream Proprio et Exquisito Marte Incisam Iacobus Calottus Nobilis Lotharingus Dono Dedit Israeli Henrichetto Opus./ Perfectissimum Amicorum Optimo et Sincerissimo.”; (lower left corner) “Fagnani exc. 1629 Parisijs.”
State v (of v) with the erasure of the address for the publisher, Vincent (“chez Md, Vincent proche St. Benoît, rué St. Jacques, a Paris”).

Meaume 1860 1.V (Édouard Heaume 1860, “Recherches sur la vie et les ouvrages de Jacques Callot: suite au peintre-graveur français de M. Robert-Dumesnil”, vol. 1,  Paris, J. Renouard, pp. 204–05 [see https://archive.org/details/gri_33125001461884/page/n203]; Lieure 1927 665.VII.

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Crossing of the Red Sea; in the foreground, Moses and Aaron, with the former brandishing his staff; in the middleground, procession of people coming out of the corridor formed by the parted sea, and carrying the Ark of the Covenant; in the distance, Pharaoh and his army engulfed by the sea; with another alteration of the wave in the middle.”

Condition: crisp, well-printed impression showing wear to the printing plate, trimmed with a small margin around the image borderline and laid onto a support sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. There is a replenished sliver loss of the lower left edge and there are minor marks to the upper sky area of the image otherwise the print is in a good condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, significant stains or foxing).

I am selling this visually engaging etching illustrating a miraculous episode from the Biblical narrative, “Exodus”, showing Moses with his staff raised commanding the water of the Red Sea to part so that the Israelites can escape the pursuing Egyptian army by waking through the watery passage with the Ark of the Covenant—note that the water has built up on either side of the pathway through the sea—for AU$328 (currently US$226.75/EUR204.55/GBP174.11 at the time of posting this print) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world (but not, of course, any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries).

If you are interested in purchasing this panoramic Baroque vision of a biblical miracle executed by one of the most important and innovative of the old master printmakers—the developer of the échoppe (a tool allowing etchers to create lines like engravers) and the technique of “stopping out” allowing etchers to create lighter lines in the distance (as seen here)—please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.











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