Jacques Callot

Battle of Cavalrymen

Battle of Cavalrymen
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: Jacques Callot
Battle Painting, Drawings, Pen and brush, brown wash and Indian ink over sketch in black chalk, 10.7x25.6 cm
Origin: France, Circa 1618

The Hermitage possesses the world's largest collection of drawings by the French draughtsman and etcher Jacques Callot, with over 850 works from the master's own hand. This vast body of works encompasses a wide range of subjects, but Callot's sphere of particular interest was battle scenes, in which he revealed a skill for conveying movement and for finding varied compositional resolutions, as well as his keen observation.

Unlike the majority of Callot's drawings, which served as studies for his etchings, this sheet is more like a rapid sketch taken from the life and is unlinked with any specific print. In the foreground to the left a rider draws his sword on his opponent, who falls from his horse, and to the right is a mounted standard-bearer, while in the background we can just make out the outlines of fighting soldiers.

Source of entry: Collection of Count Cobenzl, Brussels, 1768

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