Abraham Bosse


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(b Tours, 1602/4; d Paris, 14 Feb. 1676).

French printmaker and writer on art. His large output (more than 1,500 prints in etching and engraving) provides a rich source of documentation on 17th-century French life and manners. Many of his prints are genre scenes, and even his religious works are in modern dress, often in elaborately descriptive interiors. However, his work is impressive artistically as well as valuable historically, for it shows a classical dignity of composition, sometimes coupled with sensitive handling of light. Bosse taught perspective at the Académie Royale (see academy) from its foundation in 1648 until 1661, when he was expelled for quarrelling with his colleagues over his opposition to Le Brun's dogmatic theories. He wrote several treatises on art, notably Traité des manières de graver (1645). This was the first instruction manual for printmakers and went through many editions and translations, including one into English by Faithorne (1662).

Subjects: Art.

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