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The Discerning Eye: Collecting Della Bella and Callot

The Discerning Eye: Collecting Della Bella and Callot
Stefano Della Bella
Sept yeux, dont cinq au trait et deux ombres... 1641
Mackelvie Trust Collection
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, bequest of Dr Walter Auburn, 1982

Exhibition Details

Prints flourished in 17th-century Europe, a period characterised by a passion and curiosity for art that fuelled zealous collecting of paintings, sculptures and prints. Valued for their intimate dimensions, relative affordability and wide breadth of subject matter, engravings and etchings were an increasingly respected medium through which collectors could satisfy their delight in the visual world and proclaim their knowledge and wealth.

French artist Jacques Callot (1592–1635) and Italian Stefano Della Bella (1610–1664) worked within this context.  Both artists used their innovative artistic skills to forge a profitable and distinctive niche for themselves within the 17th century print-market.  Sought-after commodities, their prints were bought by enthusiastic collectors and were commissioned by members of the elite to showcase power, magnificence and military might.  Replete with dynamic interactions of varied lines and figures, Della Bella and Callot’s etchings reveal the lively spirit driving the 17th century’s passion for prints.  

 

Date
Curated by
Emma Jameson
Location
Mezzanine level
Cost
Free entry