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François-Philippe Charpentier

1734–1817, Blois

François-Philippe Charpentier, who held the title of Graveur et Mécanicien du Roi, is an interesting artistic figure who has unjustly been forgotten. As early as the 1750s he experimented with aquatint in order to imitate the effect of wash drawings. The earliest known print in which he employed this new technique is dated 1756, whereas there is no evidence before 1768 of its use by Jean Baptiste Le Prince, who is generally regarded as its inventor. At all events, the recognition of his invention earned Charpentier an apartment in the Louvre, and contemporary sources report that his lavis technique was simpler and more practicable.