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Wednesday 15 June 2022

Jacques Callot’s etching (with engraving), “The Last Supper”, c1620

Jacques Callot (1592–1635)

“The Last Supper” (aka “La Cène”; “Jésus Christ faisant la Cêne avec ses Apôtres”), c1620 (1619–1624), plate 1 from the series of seven etchings, “La Grande Passion.” Interestingly, the Curator of the British Museum advises: “The set was meant to include more than just seven plates: there are 13 preparatory drawings, plus the Last Supper, which has been engraved but for which no sketch has been found” (

Etching with engraving on fine laid paper trimmed around the platemark and backed with a support sheet.

Size: (support sheet) 23.1 x 32.7 cm; (sheet) 11.5 x 22.2 cm; (image borderline) 10 x 21.7 cm.

Inscribed in plate: (below the image borderline) “Christe tuis en pascis oues hic car[ni]bus, ipse/ et Cibus, et Pastor, moxque futurus Ouis”; (within the image borderline at lower right) “Callot f”.

State i (of iv); lifetime impression

Lieure 282.i (Jules Lieure 1989, “Jacques Callot: Catalogue Raisonné de l’Oeuvre Gravé”, vol. 1 [text], San Francisco, Alan Wofsy Fine Arts, p. 114, cat. no. 282 1er Etat); Meaume 13.

Jules Lieure (1989) offers the following insight regarding the coat-of-arms featured in the tympanum above Christ: “[transl.] We know that Callot's coat-of-arms was a shield bearing five stars and surmounted by a sword arm with a coat-of-arms” (vol. 1, p. 114). From what I can see, however, the “sword arm” and the other attributes of Callot’s coat-of-arms (see Callot’s engraving, “Amoiries de Callot” [Lieure 174]) is absent from the coat-of-arms portrayed in this print. Nevertheless, the idea that Callot decided to add the fundamental design attributes of his personal coat-of-arms to this scene is a marvellous revelation.

The British Museum offers the following description of this print: “The last supper, with Christ in glory, in architectural setting; with inscription in Latin in lower margin./ c.1619/24 Etching with some engraving” (

Condition: a well-printed lifetime/first state impression, trimmed around the platemark and laid upon a support of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. Beyond a minor spot of abrasion around the word “car[ni]bus”, the sheet is in an excellent condition for its considerable age with no tears, folds, stains or foxing.

I am selling this sensitively executed etching (with engraved architectural features) showing Christ’s last meal during which he tells his disciples that one of them is about to betray him—note the radiating light from Christ’s glory and the curiously wonderful addition of at least three dogs exploring what is to be found on the floor—for the total cost of AU$361 (currently US$252.57/EUR242.22/GBP208.08 at the time of this listing) 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 lifetime/first state impression of a superb etching by one of the most important and innovative of the old master printmakers—beyond Callot’s development of the échoppe etching needle allowing etchers to duplicate the effects of engraved lines, Callot also developed the technique of “stopping out” allowing etchers to create lighter lines in the distance—please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold

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