Parterre du Palais de Nancy (Gardens of the Palace at Nancy)


Jacques Callot (1592-1635), Parterre du Palais de Nancy (Gardens of the Palace at Nancy), etching, Lieure 566, first state (of two) before the address of Silvestre). On old laid paper, with the countermark of the Cross of Lorraine (watermark Lieure 35). In very good condition, with small margins (minor vertical fold visible verso, very slight creasing, some brown spots). 10 1/4 x 15 1/4 inches, 258 x 382 mm., archival mounting.

Provenance: Furstl Furstenberg Kupferstic Kabinett; Christie’s London, 12/6/85, lot 227.

A fine rich impression, with the exquisite detail of the distant landscape and the (nearly microscopic) deer hunt printing very clearly.

Callot’s depiction of the magnificent garden at Nancy is in some part imaginary: the garden at the left replaced a palace wall; the scale of the people is reduced to enlarge the garden, and Callot rearranged the walls to make the composition more spectacular.

The print was dedicated to the Dutchess of Lorraine, who can be seen in the lower center with the parasol, surrounded by a flock of courtiers. Above the scene is the Lorraine Coat of Arms surrounded by banners, which gives the title and the dedication. It’s springtime, and the scene and the gardeners suggest beginnings – it was dated October 15, 1625, at the beginning of the Nicole’s (the Dutchess) reign.

Callot includes in Le Parterre many famous images found in other prints, including a woman carrying a pan on her head (from Varie Figure), and a man carrying a weapon (from Combat a la Barriere). People can be found relaxing, fighting, playing ball and croquet, bowling, riding, boating, hunting, fishing, parading and preening.