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Le problème de l’invention en gravure. L’émergence d’une théorie de la gravure comme art libéral au sein de l’Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture (1651-1674)

It is generally acknowledged that the reception of engravers in the French Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture responded to Colbert’s wish to reproduce and circulate the academicians’ works. However, a more in-depth study of the relationship between the Academy and Parisian engravers provides an alternative viewpoint. This article attempts to show how engravers aspired to join the institution, and how the latter enabled them to produce a theory of engraving inspired by discourses on painting, thus leading them to distinguish between original and reproductive engraving.
Relevant research areas: Western Europe, Baroque, Engraving, Etching