Simon Gribelin

(1661—1733) printmaker and metal-engraver

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(b Blois, 5 May 1661; d London, 18 Jan 1733). French engraver, active in England. He was a Huguenot from a family of engravers and watchmakers. By 1681 he had moved to London and was admitted to the Clockmakers Company in 1686, possibly because of work he did for them engraving watchcases. He engraved other silver objects such as salvers and snuff-boxes (e.g. a silver-gilt comfit box, c. 1690; London, V&A). He published two books of prints intended as pattern books for his fellow craftsmen—A Book of Severall Ornaments (London, 1682; and A Book of Ornaments Usefull to Jewellers Watchmakers and All Other Artists (London, 1697). These were derived from the work of earlier French designers, including Jean Berain and Jean Vaquer (1621-1686). In 1707 Gribelin was the first engraver to reproduce the Raphael Cartoons, then on display at Hampton Court (British Royal Col., on loan to London, V&A). These prints had a significant influence on the development of printmaking in England. In 1712 he engraved six Italian Old Master paintings in the Royal collection and in 1720 the ceiling at the Banqueting House, Whitehall by Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640). In 1722 he compiled two albums of his prints and impressions on paper of engraved metalwork (London, BM and St Mary's Coll.). His designs were still being reprinted in the 1750s.

From The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Decorative Arts, Furniture, and Industrial Design.

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