Miseries and Misfortunes of War [1632-33] – By Jacques Callot
Jacques Callot created these etchings, “The Miseries and Misfortunes of War”from 1632 to 1633, looking for the first time of the experiences of the common people during war. Callot lived through the Thirty Years War, a religious war between France and Germany, and he created this series of prints to explore the new aspects of was following the French invasion of his homeland, the Duchy of Lorraine. Earlier images were made for kings and generals and celebrated victories and heroic deeds. Callot’s story begins when soldiers are recruited and engage in battle. Disciplines breaks down, however, and the soldiers begin to torture and steal from local people, and to attack churches and convents. Some soldiers are caught and punished by their superior officers, but more horrifying is the revenge the villagers take when they catch the persecutors. After the war, veterans aare shown destitutes and forced to beg for charities, from their former victims. Only a few soldiers receive accolades from the government for their service.
Callot’s prints were widely collected. Their popularity undermined official government propaganda, which paid very little attention to the cost of war for civilian population or for soldiers whom the government no longer needed.
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