Audran, John

, the third son of Germain Audran, was also born at Lyons, in 1667, and after having received instructions from his father, went to Paris, to study the art of engraving under his uncle Gerard. At the age of twenty years, the genius of this great artist began to display itself in a surprising manner: and his future success was such, that in 1707, he obtained the title of engraver to the king, and had a pension allowed him by his majesty, with apartments in the Gobelins and the following year he was made a member of the royal academy. He was eighty years of age before he quitted the graver and near ninety in 1756, when he died at his apartments, assigned him by the king. He left three sons behind him, one of whom, Benoit, was also an engraver, and died in 1735, but very inferior to his uncle of the same name.

The most masterly and best prints of John Audran are those, in Mr. Strutt’s opinion, which are not so pleasing to the eye at first sight. In these the etching constitutes a great part and he has finished them in a bold, rough style. The scientific hand of the master appears in them on examination. The drawing of the human figure, where it is shewn, is correct. The heads are expressive, and finely finished the other extremities well marked. He has not, however, equalled his uncle. He wants that harmony in the effect his lights are too much and too equally covered and there is not sufficient difference between the style in which he has engraved his back grounds and his draperies. This observation refers to a fine print by him, of “Athaliah,” and to such as he engraved in that style.