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The Dramatic Image: Baroque Prints of the 17th Century


Jacques Callot
French, 1592–1635

The Strappado

Translated inscription:
It is not without cause that great captains have well-advisedly invented these punishments for idlers, blasphemers, traitors to duty, quarrelers and liars, whose actions, blinded by vice, make those of others lax and lawless.

The Hanging

Translated inscription:
Finally these infamous and abandoned thieves, hanging from this tree like wretched fruit, show that crime (horrible and black species) is itself the instrument of shame and vengeance, and that it is the fate of corrupt men to experience the justice of Heaven sooner or later.

The Firing Squad

Translated inscription:
Those who, in obedience to their evil genius, fail in their duty, use tyranny, take pleasure only in evil and violate reason, and whose treason-filled actions produce a thousand bloody uproars in the camp, are thus chastised and shot.

from Les Grandes Misères et Malheurs de la Guerre (The Great Miseries and Misfortunes of War)

Etching, 1633
Purchased with funds from the Libbey Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 1982.130j-l