Etcher, draughtsman and painter. His family belonged to the minor
nobility; a decline in its fortunes obliged him to earn his living
as an artist. Although he had been a pupil of Laurent de La Hyre, he
forsook painting (except as an amateur), devoting himself wholly to
printmaking; he became one of the most prolific etchers of his time,
executing, in particular, a great many vignettes for books. He had
an extraordinary facility in composition; his own oeuvre numbers
more than 1600 prints, and he made some 1400 drawings for other
printmakers. He was the 17th century’s most popular illustrator of
fiction and plays. In 1663 Chauveau was admitted (reçu) to
the Académie Royale and made a councillor. For Louis XIV he engraved
(1664–70) the Carrousel de 1662: the quality of his work
earned him the title of Graveur du Roi and a pension of 600 livres.
He also set out to engrave, after Eustache Le Sueur, a series of the
Life of St Bruno but died before finishing the work, which
was completed by Sébastien Leclerc the elder. The inventory made
after Chauveau’s death mentions various paintings by him.
by Francois Chauveau
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