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Friday 8 September 2023

Jacques Callot’s etching, “Condemnation of Christ”, c.1620


Jacques Callot (1592–1635)

“Condemnation of Christ” (aka “La Condamnation a Mort” [The Condemnation to Death]), c.1620 (1619–1624), a rare first state, lifetime impression, plate 5 from the series of seven plates, “La Grande Passion”.

Regarding the series, “La Grande Passion”, the Curator of the British Museum offers the following information: “… a series of seven plates depicting episodes of the Passion. The compositions were probably designed in Florence and engraved over several years, from 1619 to 1624, with the likely help of his workshop on some of the plates.

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. See cat. exhib. 'Jacques Callot' (Nancy, 1992) No.549-570” (

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

Size: (sheet) 12.1 x 22.5 cm; (plate) 11.5 x 22 cm; (image borderline) 9.9 x 21.7 cm.

Inscribed in plate within the image borderline: (lower left corner) “Callot fec.”.

Lettered in plate in Latin below the image borderline: (centre) “Non lauat ille manus, sed Christi sanguine foedat,/ Nulla potest tantum lympha lauare Scelus” (He does not wash his hands, but rather defiles them with the blood of Christ/ No water can wash away the crime).

State i (of ii).

Lieure 283 (Jules Lieure 1989, “Jacques Callot: Catalogue Raisonné de l’Œuvre Gravé, San Francisco, Alan Wofsy Fine Arts, p. 114, cat. no. 283); Meaume 14.

The British Museum offers the following description of this print: “Condemnation of Christ: interior of classical building with, in the centre, Pilate seated on throne set in architectural niche, and washing his hands; on the left Christ taken away by soldiers; with inscription in Latin in lower margin. c.1619/24 Etching with some engraving” (

Condition: a strong impression with thread margins. Beyond a restored fracture at the centre of the lower edge, the sheet is in an excellent condition with no significant stains and is laid onto a support of archival (millennium quality) washi paper providing wider margins.

I am selling this rare first state impression from Callot’s famous series, “La Grande Passion”—of interest to those who may not have noticed, the upper figure on the far left is using his fingers on his head to suggest horns, which is an Italian gesture for expressing bad luck (“jettatura”)—for AU$341 (currently US$227.92/EUR206.23/GBP181.54 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 remarkably fine etching that is a lifetime impression taken from the plate twenty years before Rembrandt painted his masterwork, “The Night Watch” (1642), 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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