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The Temptation of Saint Anthony (also known as the Second Temptation of Saint Anthony)
Invented by Jacques Callot, Etched by Pacot

Paris, circa 1690

An original, rare copperplate etching over 330 years old

Jacques Callot

Jacques Callot (1592-1635)

This, the second Temptation of Saint Anthony, was Callot's last large plate; he first etched the subject in Florence in 1617 and had returned to it in 1634 after his father's death and the invasion of Lorraine, and during his painful illness.

This later plate is on hard copper, deeply bitten to achieve 'the blackest hell'. It is very different from the first version and is placed by many critics among Callot's best works.

The composition's diablerie, reminiscent of Bosch, mordant humour combined with nightmarish profundity, contrast sharply with the solemn and reticent realism of the small religious scries of this period. Callot had always a penchant for the invention of devils; though these, and his felicitious observation of the earthy humour of seventeenth century man, generally remained secondary, if recurring, themes in his work. In the second Temptation he has allowed his imagination and humour full licence. As the limitless army of hellish demons hover over the abyss or cavort with musical intruments humourously adapted, they almost obiterate the wretched saint, whose ascetic, terrorised figure is hard to find.

[Brothers, Ann. Worlds in Miniature: The Etchings of Jacques Callot and Wencheslaus Hollar.
Sydney: National Gallery of Victory, 1998.

Jacques Callot's Temptation of Saint Anthony
Please click on the thumbnail above for a view of the entire plate.

The Temptation of Saint Anthony
(also known as the Second Temptation of Saint Anthony)

Thick, chain-laid 17th century paper measuring approximately 18.25 x 14.125 inches (approx. 46.35 x 35.9 cm)

Original etching of Pacot (fl. ca 1690) after Jacques Callot (1592-1635), Paris, circa 1690.
A masterly and impressive etching of Callot's most famous etching, in opposite sense.

A Monseignor l'Abbé Bignon Conseiller d'Etat ordinaire, et President de l'Academie des Sciences
et de celle des Inscriptions.

Enfants des noires abîmes
Monstres quittés les Enfers
Et sous la formes des crimes
Venez souiller l'Univers
Livrez une afreuse guerre
A ce Saint, et de la terre
Ebrantez les fondements,
Deploye, toutes vos rages
Faittes d'horribles ravages
Confondez les Elements
Comme un rocher immobile
Brave les vents et les flots
De même Antoine tranquile
Meprise vos vains complots
Ce Saint hor de vótre atteinte
D'aucun mouvement de crainte
Ne sauroit être frapé:
Et Son coeur plein de sagesse
Domptant l'humaine foiblesse
De Dieu seul est occupé.


Presenté et Gravé par Son tres humble et tres Obeisant Serviteur Pacot Ingenieur de Sa Majesté

Condition: Very Good/Excellent with very minor foxing in lower margin and one short, closed tear in upper right, just extending into the image and not noticeable. A nice, dark impression with approximately 1/4 inch margins all around, except at bottom below inscription vignette where it is narrower. Overall, a very fine example of this exceedingly rare etching.

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