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Simon-François Ravenet the Elder

1706 Paris – 1774 London

Simon-François Ravenet was taught the art of engraving by Jacques-Philippe Lebas in Paris. His immense talent soon secured him recognition and major commissions. Among his first projects were the engraved illustrations for Jean-Baptiste Massé’s volume entitled Grande Galerie de Versailles, which reproduces the monumental decorative paintings by Charles Le Brun at the palace in Versailles. In 1743 Ravenet was invited to London by William Hogarth to make two of the engravings for his Marriage à la Mode series. London became a second home for Ravenet, who founded a school for line engraving there and was soon commissioned to produce engravings by the city’s pre-eminent publishers. They included John Boydell, London’s leading publisher of engravings, as well as Robert Sayer and John and Paul Knapton.