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The Miseries of War was conceived during an era of almost constant conflict across Europe known as the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648). While primarily a struggle between Catholic and Protestant forces, there were also political debts to settle.
The standing armies of the day were mainly composed of ill-paid career mercenaries who had little allegiance and who habitually marauded through the countryside pillaging, looting and killing the populace as Callot depicts in his series.
Sotheby's, New York, New York, 1987; purchased by Walter and Joan Wolf, Indianapolis, Indiana; given to the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 2008.