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Pierre Michel Alix

1762–1817, Paris

Pierre Michel Alix was a student of Jacques Philippe Le Bas and made his reputation as a reproductive engraver with a sequence of portraits of well-known personalities of the French Revolution. This gifted but conformist artist was not exactly consistent in his political loyalties, serving every government from the Ancien Régime to the Restoration. His extensive œuvre includes a portrait of Queen Marie Antoinette after Vigée-Lebrun as well as large-format allegories replete with unrestrained revolutionary ardour. Under the Directoire, Alix turned to less highly charged themes such as mythological subjects and genre scenes. All these works are distinguished by a complete mastery of very varied printing techniques, which are often ingeniously combined and whose technical refinement marks the final phase of French multiple-plate colour printing.