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The Human Condition

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Habit de coustellier [A Cutler's Costume], from Habits des métiers et professions

circa 1690
17th century
36.2 cm x 23.8 cm (14 1/4 in. x 9 3/8 in.)

Nicolas de Larmessin II (Paris, 1638 - 1694, Paris) Primary

Object Type: print
Artist Nationality: Europe, French
Medium and Support: Etching and engraving
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Karen G. and Dr. Elgin W. Ware, Jr. Collection, 1999
Accession Number: 1999.17

Since the sixteenth century, printmakers in Europe created series presenting various costumes in an almost encyclopedic manner. These series remained popular through the seventeenth century. Another regular concern in printmaking was the representation of the trades and occupations. Larmessin creatively and humorously combined these two traditions together in a series of figures wearing fanciful costumes of their trade. This particular figure from the series is a personification of the cutler’s trade. He wears a coat which is adorned with surgeon's implements including knives, scissors, and forceps, while in his left hand he holds a surgeon’s saw.

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