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Jean Lepautre

1618–1682, Paris

Born into a Parisian family of artists, Jean Lepautre is one of the most imaginative and productive ornamental engravers in the history of European printmaking. An inexhaustible exuberance of Baroque inventiveness characterizes the creative urge of this artist, whose oeuvre of ornamental etchings and designs for the applied arts exceeds 2,300 sheets. Lepautre also devoted himself to landscape etching and produced prints on religious and mythological themes. He learned his trade as a graphic artist from the menuisier Adam Philippon, whom he accompanied to Rome about 1645 and whose designs formed the basis for his first series of prints. In Italy, Lepautre studied the antique and his profound knowledge of classical forms was to become a constant feature of his own production as a printmaker, which he embarked on with enormous energy in 1645. In 1677, Lepautre became a member of the Académie Royale.