thirty years of dying

The world lives in fear of the “incident” that will ignite a conflict on a world or regional basis, but if we look back to the Thirty Years War and fast forward to today, we can conclude that men, not events, determine the fate of nations…

The first battles of the Thirty Years War ranged armies of the Holy Roman Emperor and the Catholic League against those of Bohemia and the Protestant Union. Later, as the war enlarged and politics began to displace religion as the overriding issue, they were joined by the armies of Spain, Sweden,Denmark and France. Of all these, the Swedes- under King Gustavus Adolphus- were probably the best disciplined because the best paid. Most of the others followed what has been called “wolf strategy,” plundering and scavenging and living off the land. As soon as they had eaten up one part of the country, they had to move on- and so another area was consumed, preferably though not necessarily a hostile one. In the Jacques Callot etching below, some of these marauders are seen attacking a rider on the highway, while others are finishing off a fallen man.

Attack on the Highway. Small Miseries of War—Read More:


—Jacques Callot
(France 1592–1635)
Attack on a coach, from the suite The Miseries and Misfortunes of War

In 1623 Callot was appointed artist at the court of Lorraine under the patronage of Duke Henri II. This series of prints shows aspects of soldiers’ lives from the time they enlist until they receive rewards from their commanders. It is based on events of the Thirty Years War (1618-48), a series of conflicts fought principally on the territory of today’s Germany, and broadly defined by the struggle between France and the Habsburgs for dominance in Europe. Callot’s etching style, characterized by elegant swelling lines, is not unlike that of engraving—Read More:

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