[The Bass Viol Player], reproduction of an original conté crayon drawing of 1707 by Bernard Picart, 20th century. Dayton C. Miller Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress.
In this image, a bass viol player is seated, facing left. This is a monochromatic lithograph, in reddish-brown ink, the coloring of which resembles a conté crayon drawing. It is a 20th-century lithographic reproduction of an original conté crayon drawing of 1707 by Bernard Picart (1673-1733).
About the Artist
Bernard Picart, painter, draughtsman and engraver, 1673-1733
Bernard Picart was born in Paris in 1673 and died in Amsterdam in 1733. He was a painter, draughtsman and engraver who studied drawing at the Académie Royale. He studied engraving with his father, Etienne Picart (1632-1721), who was known for his portrait engravings. He also studied engraving with Benoît Audran (1661-1721) and Sébastian Leclerc (1637-1714). Picart's drawings and engravings are of a very fine quality.
Like his father, Bernard Picart did portrait engravings, as well as original works of varying subject matter. The majority of his work was produced to illustrate books, many of them multivolume publications, a selection of which is given in the article by Maxime Préaud, cited below, in Grove Art Online.Oxford Art Online. Picart also did reproductive prints after the work of other artists such as Charles Le Brun (1619-1690) and Eustache Le Sueur (1616-1655). Among the illustrations Picart produced were the images he created for Figures de Modes et Théâtrale, ca. 1696, which is a "veritable encyclopedia of fashion around 1696 and a repertoire of personnages in the Comédie Italienne before 1697."
Picart left France in 1696 for Antwerp and was in The Netherlands until late 1698, when he returned to France. By 1708, Picart returned to The Netherlands and, after 1710, settled in Amsterdam where he converted to the Protestant religion. In the tradition of Jacques Callot (1592-1635), he drew with great precision and in great detail, but his elegant technique foreshadowed the work of the 18th-century artists, Claude Gillot (1673-1722) and Watteau (1684-1721). A prolific artist, many of Picart's drawings and engravings are in the Bibliothèque Nationale and the Musée du Louvre in Paris, and in the Teylers Museum in Haarlem.
- The biographical information given here is derived from Bénézit and an article, "Bernard Picart," by Maxime Préaud in Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online (subscription only). [back to article]