Artibus et Historiae no. 49 (XXV)

2004, ISSN 0391-9064

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MARIA GORDON-SMITH - English Engravings of Picturesque Views after Jean Pillement (1728-1808)

In 1754 when Jean Pillement, after a successful stay in Spain and Portugal, arrived in London at the age of twenty six, the English economy was enjoying a dynamic growth which had a direct repercussion on the art market. Thanks to the extraordinary public demand of the time for fine prints of desirable works of art, an artist's stature and fame was directly related to the number of his printed works circulated domestically and abroad. Pillement succeeded in taking full advantage of the opportunities which engravings offered in England; not only through his talent for draughtmanship but also through the renderings of his drawings by first class engravers and etchers, native and imported. It was in England that many of his ornamental designs were first engraved and published. It is also where Pillement began to turn his attention to landscape drawing and painting. His pastoral scenes, seascapes and picturesque views found an appreciative clientele in London. His stay of ten years in England opened to him as well the French market for engravings and established his reputation as a brilliant ornamentalist as well as a landscape artist.

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