Etchings by Jacques Callot

Jacques Callot (1592–1635).
Martiryum appostolorum.
[Paris: Jacques Callot, ca. 1632]. (BRB1146)

The etchings of the French printmaker Jacques Callot, which ranged in subject matter from biblical scenes to seventeenth-century warfare, characteristically depicted dramatic scenes populated by miniature figures in grandiose settings. This suite of fifteen etchings depicts the various methods of martyrdom suffered by the Twelve Apostles mentioned in the Gospels (including Judas Iscariot, who committed suicide by hanging) as well as Judas’s replacement, St. Matthias, and two apostles mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, St. Paul and St. Barnabas. In the exhibited print, the Martyrdom of St. Thaddeus, the apostle is attacked in the foreground by two pagans who wield axes. According to early Christian sources, the setting of the apostle’s martyrdom was Beirut in Syria, which here is depicted with classical architecture, an obelisk, and a statue of a demonic deity. The saintly apostle appears for a second time above, rising in spirit toward heaven.

The Lives of Saints
Etchings by Jacques Callot