Online Encyclopedia

GERARD, or GIRARD, AUDRAN

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V02, Page 898 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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GERARD, or GIRARD, AUDRAN, the most celebrated French engraver, was the third son of Claude Audran, and was born at Lyons in 164o. He was taught the first principles of design and engraving by his father; and, following the example of his brother, went to Paris to perfect himself in his art. He there, in 1666, engraved for Le Brun " Constantine's Battle with Maxentius," his " Triumph," and the " Stoning of Stephen," which gave great satisfaction to the painter, and placed Attdran in the very first rank of engravers at Paris. Next year he set out for Rome, where he resided three years, and engraved several fine plates. That great patron of the arts, J. B. Colbert, was so struck with the beauty of Audran's works, that he persuaded Louis XIV. to recall him to Paris. On his return he applied himself assiduously to engraving, and was appointed engraver to the king, from whom he received great encouragement. In the year 1681 he was admitted to the council of the Royal Academy. He died at Paris in 1703. His engravings of Le Brun's " Battles of Alexander " are regarded as the best of his numerous works. " He was," says the Abbe Fontenay, " the most celebrated engraver that ever existed in the historical line. We have several subjects, which he engraved from his own designs, that manifested as much taste as character and facility. But in the ` Battles of Alexander' he surpassed even the expectations of Le Brun himself." Gerard published in 1683 a work entitled Les Proportions du corps humain mesurees sur les plus belles figures de l'antiquite.
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