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'Les Gueux' or 'Les Mendiants'. Les Deux Pèlerins (The Two Pilgrims)

Accession Number
1949/1.146

Title
'Les Gueux' or 'Les Mendiants'. Les Deux Pèlerins (The Two Pilgrims)

Artist(s)
Jacques Callot

Artist Nationality
French (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
1622-1628

Medium & Support
etching on laid paper

Dimensions
5 ¾ in x 3 ½ in (14.61 cm x 8.89 cm);19 in x 14 in (48.26 cm x 35.56 cm)

Credit Line
Museum Purchase

Label copy
Gallery Rotation Winter 2013
Jacques Callot
France, 1592–1635
Two Pilgrims (Les Deux Pèlerins), from Les Gueux
1622–28
Etching
Museum purchase, 1949/1.146
These three etchings are from Jacque Callot’s Les Gueux or The Beggars, which consists of twenty-five prints likely produced during the artist’s stay in Italy. Callot’s compassionate representations of the figures reveal his talent for incisive observation and intense interest in surface textures and details, showcased by his meticulous engraving technique. The lack of background details gives the figures an imposing monumentality and emphasizes the detailed rendering of their features and accoutrements. Callot was one of the best known and most accomplished printmakers of the period and his prints were popular and frequently copied.
Aside from the frontispiece, Two Pilgrims is the only print from the series that depicts multiple figures. Their ragged layered clothes, large hats, walking sticks, and distinctive badges suggest that they are either embarking on or returning from a pilgrimage, as does the church visible in the distance.

Subject matter
Jacques Callot was an innovative and highly accomplished printmaker. Callot's style is both dramatic and elegant; here we see the monumental treatment of two peasant pilgrims or mendicants observed and drawn with great sensitivity.

Physical Description
Two rough figures dominate the composition with a lightly etched landscape behind them. Both figures hold a staff and each is dressed in ragged clothes. In addition, the scallop shell, indicating that they are pilgrims to the shrine of St. James the Greater at Santiago de Compostela, is visible on the brims of their hats, and on the left shoulder of the man standing to the right.

Primary Object Classification
Print

Primary Object Type
intaglio print

Additional Object Classification(s)
Print

Collection Area
Western

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
beggars
peasants
pilgrims
shell (animal material)
staffs (walking sticks)

3 Related Resources

Poverty
(Part of 4 Learning Collections)
Early Modern European Peasants
(Part of 10 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved