Balli di Sfessania
Jacques Callot (1592-1635)
Complete set of 24 etchings, each, ca. 71 x 92 mm., Lieure 379-402, generally i/ii. Fine full set on thin laid paper, seventeen with narrow or thread margins, the remainder trimmed to or just within the plate marks; one with a blank corner replaced, several toned or with a few pale spots of foxing, and other minor flaws. In general, very good condition. L. 379, the frontispiece is in the first state of three and L. 400 in either the first or second state of three. Oddly, L. 388 appears to be in the second state, with a faint number 8 at the lower right, but it is on the same paper as all the others. The set, illustrating figures from the Commedia dell'Arte, is one of Callot's masterpieces as well as one of the landmarks of print making. Callot was born in Lorraine but spent time in Italy. He is one of the first great artists to practice graphic arts exclusively and he made over 1400 etchings representing the varieties of life of his time.