Picart, Bernard a famous French engraver, was born at Paris in 1673. He was the pupil of Le Clerc. His best works are those executed in France. Having embraced the Reformed religion, he took up his residence in Holland. In Amsterdam, to which place he accompanied his father in 1710, he worked exclusively for the booksellers, and became mannered, metallic, and merely ornamental. A great many of his prints are from his own designs, in which he imitated the style of composition of Antoine Coypel. He had a facility in imitating the styles of other earlier engravers, and he published many prints of this class which are said to have deceived collectors; Picart used to call them Impostures innocentes, and. they were publishled under this title, to the number of seventy-eight, with a list of his works (Amsterdam, 1738), after his death. His prints altogether amount to about 1300, and one of the best of them is a Slaughter of the Innocents, after a design of his own: there are various impressions of it. He died in 1733. The French text which Picart's copper-plates were intended to illustrate was Written by J.F. Bernard and Bruzen de la Martiniere. The first and best edition of the work in the original French is that of 1728-37; to which should be added
Supplement (1743, 2 volumes), and Superstitions, Anciennes et Modemne (1733-36, 2 volumes). Picart is the author of a work on The Religious Ceremonies and Customs of the several Nations of the known World, represented in more than a hundred copper-plates, which he designed, and accompanied with historical explanations and several curious dissertations (Lond. 1731-39, 7 volumes, fol.). See Duplessis, Hist. de la Gravure en France; Haag Freres, La France Protestante, s.v.; Darling, Cyclop. Bibliogr. s.v.; English Cyclop. s.v.