January 31–May 5, 2013
In the Spring the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston will
present an exhibition of the etchings of Callot, one of the most
accomplished printmakers of the seventeenth century. An
extraordinarily productive artist, Callot revolutionized the
technique of etching by developing a new type of needle and
perfecting the use of a hard ground and multiple acid bitings.
Moreover, he deeply influenced not only artists of the past,
such as Rembrandt and Goya, but also today’s printmakers.
Callot was also an international artist, who lived and worked in
both Florence and Lorraine. Fascinated by both the grotesque
and the elegant, he was also drawn to naturalism and careful
observation. His prints can be monumental, such as the Siege
of Breda, but as a rule invite close viewing with a
magnifying glass in order to fully appreciate their minuscule
details. Callot’s etchings are imaginative, inventive, and
witty, and he was intrigued by a broad range of themes, from
theatrical performances and military sieges to Gypsies and
beggars. Curated by Diane Wolfthal, David and Caroline Minter
Chair in the Humanities at Rice University, and Dena Woodall,
curator of Prints and Drawings at the MFAH, Princes and
Paupers: The Art of Jacques Callot will focus on class
issues within the work of Callot. This show will be the first
major exhibition of this artist’s work to be accompanied by an
English-language catalogue since the 1970s.
In conjunction with the exhibition, on Saturday March 16,
2013 the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and Rice University will
hold a symposium called The Art of Jacques Callot.
This is open to the public and will include a series of
cooperative ventures between Rice University and MFAH.