Poilly, FrançoIs dE

Poilly, François de a French engraver, was born at Abbeville in 1622 or 1623. His father was a goldsmith. After working for three years in the studio of Pierre Daret, he went to Rome in 1649 and remained there until 1656. He engraved during his stay in Italy some drawings in a manner which resembles that of Bloemaert. On his return to France, he engraved with equal success portraits and historical subjects. His portraits are sought for even now, perhaps less on account of the merits of an art which must be confessed to be somewhat cold and monotonous, than of the persons they represent. Poilly was honored with the title of ordinary engraver to the king. He reproduced the works of Raffaelle, Giulio Romano, Guido, Carraccio, Le Brun, Mignard, Le Sueur, Poussin, Ph. de Champagne, etc. The great reputation he enjoyed in his time attracted to his studio a number of pupils, among them Gerard Edelinck. Nicolas de Poilly, his brother, Scotin, Roullet, etc. Poilly and his brother lived together with the Mariette family, for whom Gerard worked. Poilly died at Paris, March 1693. Though Poilly's style is very laborious, there are about four hundred prints which bear his name, in which however he was of course assisted by his pupils. His masterpiece is the print from Mignard's celebrated picture, now lost, of San Carlo Borromeo administering the Sacrament to the Milanese attacked with the Plague. A catalogue of his prints was published by R. Hecquet in 1752. See Ioefer, Nouv. Biog. Géneralé, s.v.; Mrs. Clement, Handbook of Painters, Sculptors, Architects, and Engravers, s.v.

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