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Small Worlds: The Etchings of Jacques Callot and Stefano della Bella

This exhibition presents the wonderfully intricate etchings of the two most prolific chroniclers of life in the first half of the European seventeenth century. Through their keen observations of the varied and inequitable world around them, Jacques Callot (1592–1636) and Stefano della Bella (1610–1664) offer us a clear window into a colorful and tumultuous era. A great technical innovator, the French Jacques Callot produced over 1400 etchings, meticulously executed, often in almost microscopic detail. Although he began his career recording the extravagant pageants and theatrical displays at the court of the Medici in Florence, Callot is perhaps best known for his perceptive portrayals of unfortunates cast adrift by the destructive wars of religion in his native Lorraine. Stefano della Bella, a Florentine and a younger contemporary of Callot, took Callot’s innovative style as a point of departure. But better traveled than his elder, and exposed to more different kinds of art, della Bella recorded landscapes and cityscapes in Italy, the Netherlands, and France, and drew people of all social stations and occupations that he met on the road, from peasants to courtiers, in an elegant and distinctive style.

Andrew C. Weislogel
Assistant Curator / Master Teacher