View of Pont-Neuf

Jacques Callot (French, 1592 – 1635)
Circa 1629-1630
Mat : 16 x 20 in. (40.64 x 50.8 cm)
Plate : 6 5/8 x 13 1/4 in. (16.83 x 33.66 cm)
Sheet : 7 x 13 3/4 in. (17.78 x 34.92 cm)
Credit Line
Hope College Collection
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Pont Neuf means “new bridge” in French. Begun in 1578 and completed in 1606, it was the first bridge to stretch across the Seine River in a single span. Although View of Pont Neuf ostensibly features the bridge as its main subject, the bridge is actually depicted far away from the viewer in the picture plane. Callot’s placement of the bridge in the background may seem odd, but it serves to emphasize the bridge’s role as the backbone of Paris. The frenetic activity in the print’s foreground demonstrates Callot’s interest in capturing the dynamism of the world that surrounded him. In many of his compositions, Callot combines observed realities with elements drawn from his own imagination. Callot’s method of composing such scenes resulted in a style so unique from other genres that Callot, in essence, created a genre of his own—the “Callot fantasy”. [Emily Lindbloom 2020]

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