The Large Passion


Jacques Callot (1592-1635), The Large Passion, 7 etchings (2 are illustrated), 1619-1624. Reference: Lieure 281-287. Five in the first state, one in the second and one in the second or third, as discussed below; an extraordinarily large proportion of the plates (6 of 7) have watermarks Lieure identifies as characteristic of the earliest impressions of this set (see below). Each in very good condition, on a brownish laid paper,  with thread or small margins trimmed outside of the platemark, each approximately 4 1/2 x 8 3/4 inches.

States: Lieure 281 (Washing of Hands) second state (of 3)(the first state is extremely rare); L282 (Last Supper) first state (of 3); L283 (Condemnation) first state (of 2); L284 (Crowning of Thorns) first or second state, before completion of the background  (of 4); L285 (Presentation to the People) first state (of 3); L286 (Carrying to the Cross) first state (of 3); L287 (Crucifixion) first state (of 2).

Lieure 281 has Lieure watermark 35 (countermark to the  Cross of Lorrain mark)

Lieure 282, 283, 284, 285, 287 have the Cross of Lorraine watermarks (Lieure watermark 30).

A fine uniform, early set of this monumental work.

Provenance: Donald Judd Foundation

Unidentified collector (pencil signature verso on each impression, not found in Lugt)

The Large Passion is one of Callot’s larger format religious sets. Most of the portrayals are set as on a stage. For example, the Presentation to the People is set in classic architecture, with Christ isolated in the center background, and larger more darkly etched figures in the foreground. This theatrical approach would be used repeatedly by future generations of artists.

This set is complete, but Callot may have contemplated a larger grouping; he made sketches for as many as fourteen scenes for a Large Passion, most of which today are in the Collection of the Duke of Devonshire at Chatsworth; other preparatory drawings, including sketches of figures found in the Large Passion, can be found in the Louvre, the Morgan Library, and the National Gallery in Washington.

This set is currently on reserve.