Pelletier, Jean (1736-1780)

Pelletier, Jean (1736-1780)

Jean Pelletier was a French engraver who worked predominantly in Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

Unfortunately, very little is known about Pelletier’s life. However, the dating of many of his engravings come from after 1750, so it seems likely he received training very early on in his life.

Pelletier’s works were published both in his hometown of Paris as well as in Amsterdam. This suggests that the artist potentially worked between the two cities, and perhaps even moved to the latter as his career developed. This would be unsurprising, for Amsterdam was a centre for the production of prints made after engravings.

Since the 16th century, engravings had been growing steadily popular as a means to reproduce works of art and distribute them on a large scale. The Low Countries and cities such as Amsterdam became the beating hearts of this growing market.

Pelletier took on a number of the works of the finest masters of art. Artists such as Nicolaes Pieterszoon Berchem (1620-1683), Gabriel Metsu (1629-1667), Cornelis Troost (1696-1750), and François Boucher (1703-1770), were all interpreted by Pelletier’s hand. Utilising his burin, a tool used to make small markings on a sheet of metal, Pelletier would painstakingly convert their art into his black and white engravings. This would have required the utmost precision and an adaptive mindset, necessitating the translation of brushstrokes into fine lines.

From the ebullient grandiose of the baroque and the rococo, to completely composed genre scenes and varied, evocative landscapes, Pelletier completed his task with delicacy and sophistication, no matter the assignment. It is a shame the details of his life are lost to the passage of time, but his magnificent engravings remain a rich legacy, nonetheless.


Born in Paris, France.



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