Jacques Callot (1592–1635)
“The Sun and the Rain” and “The Two Crowns” (“Le soleil et la pluie” and “Les Deux Couronnes”), c1628, plates 24 and 25 from a series of 27 plates, “Vita Beatae Mariae Vir. Matris Dei emblematib[us” (“The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary the Mother of God, represented in emblems”) first published in 1628 by Antoine Charlot (fl.c1628–1635) in Nancy and later (as with this impression) in 1646 by François Langlois (aka François Langlois, il Ciartres) (1588–1647) as an illustration to François Rennel’s (1583–1649) text in “Vie de la Mère de Diev representée par emblesme” (see https://graphicarts.princeton.edu/2017/03/15/callots-vie-de-la-mere-de-dieu/ & https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_1861-0713-390).
Etchings on laid paper with narrow margins around the platemark and backed with separate support sheets.
Size of “The Sun and the Rain”: (sheet) 6.7 x 8.7 cm; (plate) 6.4 x 8.5 cm; (image borderline) 6 x 8.1 cm; numbered on plate: (upper right) “XXIIII”.
Size of “The Two Crowns”: (sheet) 7 x 8.9 cm; (plate) 6.4 x 8.5 cm; (image borderline) 6 x 8.1 cm; numbered on plate: (upper right) “XXV”; hand inscribed in ink: (lower left) “4”.
State ii (of ii) with the addition of the plate numbers.
Lieure 650 ii and 651 ii (Jules Lieure 1989, “Jacques Callot: Catalogue Raisonné de L’Œuvre Gravré”, San Francisco, Alan Wofsy Fine Arts, [vol. 1, text] pp. 105–06); Meaume 231 ii and 232 ii.
The British Museum offers the following description of “The Sun and the Rain”:
“Landscape with, on the left, rain falling on a large rock and, on the right, the sun shining over a city; with letterpress text cut off”
My understanding of this print (and please forgive me if I am wrong) is that the subject symbolises the natural link between moisture being raised to the heavens by the sun so that it can later fall as rain—the connotation of this symbolism in terms of this illustration in the series (again by my understanding) is that the Virgin Mary’s assumption to Heaven is like the earth being nourished. (Again, I may be completely wrong about this reading.)
The British Museum offers the following description of “The Two Crowns”:
“Landscape with, on the ground, two hands holding a laurel wreath and, hovering over, a crown supported by cherubs' heads; with letterpress text cut off”
My understanding of the symbolism of this print in terms of the other prints in the series (apologies if I am wrong) is that the winged cherubim supporting the crown and the hands supporting the laurel wreath are affirmations of the Virgin Mary’s “victory”. Mindful that the previous print in the series, “The Sun and the Rain”, could be read to mean that the assumption of the Virgin Mary is like the earth being nourished. (Once more I need to state that I may be completely wrong in my thoughts.)
Condition: strong impressions trimmed with thread margins and laid on a support sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. There are minor marks on “The Sun and the Rain” and “The Two Crowns” has a hand-inscribed number in ink, otherwise the sheets are in a good condition with no tears, folds, holes, abrasions, losses, or foxing.
I am selling this fascinating pair of emblem prints executed by one of the most famous of the old masters for the total cost of AU$420 for the pair (currently US$319/EUR261.10/GBP235.54 at the time of this listing) including Express Mail (EMS) 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 these small but graphically arresting etchings from the early 1600s, please contact me (email@example.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.
These prints have been sold