Gravelot, Henry Francis Bourignon

, a French artist, well known in this as well as his own country, was born at Paris March 26, 1699. He does not appear to have had much education in his profession, but soon made some figure as a draughtsman. He accompanied La Rochalard, who was appointed governor-general of St. Domingo, and meeting in that island with the artist Frezier, was employed by him on a map of the country. Gravelot returned to France in 1745, where he applied principally to drawing; but finding himself in the midst of a number of eminent artists, among whom he despaired of distinguishing himself, he came over to London, where he lived thirteen years. He possessed great fertility of invention, and composed, with much judgment, small subjects for vignettes and other book ornaments; he drew also admirably ancient buildings, tombs, and prospects, and was much employed in all these branches by the artists of London. He drew the monuments of the kings for Vertue, and gave the designs, where invention was necessary, for Pine’s plates of the tapestry in the house of lords. He was also for some time employed in Gloucestershire, drawing churches and antiquities. Vertue compares his neat manner to Picart, and owns that in composition and design, he even excelled his favourite Hollar. He sometimes attempted painting small histories and conversations, and he | designed as well as engraved some of the prints to sir The* mas Hanmer’s edition of Shakspeare, and those belonging to Theobald’s edition: but the finest specimen of his abilities as an engraver, is his large print of Kirkstall abbey. He returned to France about the beginning of the present reign, and executed for the booksellers of Paris, the beautiful designs with which they ornamented the works of Corneille, Racine, Voltaire, Boccaccio, Ariosto, Marmontel, &c. He died at Paris in 1773. He is said to have been a man of wit and talents, and perfectly acquainted with the history and theory of his art. 1

1 Dict. Hist.Strutt. Walpole’s Engravers,