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The Siege of Breda

Jacques Callot (French, 1592–1635)

Printed on six sheets of paper that join to form a single image, Callot’s monumental Siege of Breda integrates an accurate military map with a panoramic landscape depicting scenes of army life, plundering soldiers, fleeing peasants, and other ravages of war. Archduchess Isabella, governor of the Spanish Netherlands, commissioned The Siege of Breda to commemorate the fall of the fortified city in 1625, one of Spain’s greatest victories during the Eighty Years’ War with the Dutch. Her coat of arms appears at upper right, with those of her nephew, King Philip IV of Spain, at upper left.

The large-scale figures and buildings in the foreground were etched using a tool called an échoppe, which Callot is credited with inventing. He specifically designed the échoppe to create etched lines that would emulate the elegant swelling and tapering lines typically achieved through engraving.

Object Details

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