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Bernard Picart (1673-1733). 

The temple of the Muses, or, The principal histories of fabulous antiquity: represented in sixty sculptures.  Amsterdam, 1733.  Bernard Picart, an engaver, and the son of Etienne Picart, was born in Paris in 1673.  He was instructed in design and engraving by his father, but obtained further instruction from Le Brun and Jouvenet.  At the age of sixteen he gained honors at the Academy of Paris.  He distinguished himself both as designer and engraver and executed a large amount of engravings.  He used both the point and the burin.His works chiefly consist of plates for books and other ornamental engravings.  In 1710 he left Paris and settled in Amsterdam where he was employed and  in great demand by booksellers.  He died in Amsterdam in 1733. The very last achievement of his brilliant career was The Temple of the Muses, a work of singular beauty.  Each of the folio plates was executed with the greatest of detail and chiaroscuro.  The sixty plates had for each image a magnificent border with none repeated.  The presentation of each mythological scene is extremely powerful yet the infusion of delicate treatments make the overall effect breathtaking.  These plates are indeed the finest to have been executed on the subject. Print: 17½" x 11½

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