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DUVET, Jean
(b. ca. 1485, Dijon, d. after 1561, Langres)

Biography

French goldsmith and engraver. He was the son of Drouhot Duvet, a goldsmith active in Dijon at the end of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th. He was admitted as a master goldsmith in Dijon in 1509, but most of his career was in Langres. From 1540 onwards he lived in Geneva, where he worked for the city council and might therefore have become a Protestant.

His earliest dated engraving is an Annunciation of 1520 which is of pure Italian style. His Judgement of Solomon, undated but probably early, is based on Raphael's cartoon of Elymas the Sorcerer. These and other early works leads to the conclusion that he must have visited Italy and seen the works of Raphael and his contemporaries.

It is in the twenty-four engravings illustrating the Apocalypse that Duvet's full imaginative power is seen. Apart from the Apocalypse the most famous engravings by Duvet are the Unicorn series, which may be dated to the 1540s.

He is known to have participated in the preparation of the decorations for the entry of Francis I into Langres in 1521, and he designed and directed the decorations and floats for the entry of Francis in 1533. Nothing remains of his work as a goldsmith, but he is known to have completed a reliquary bust of St Mammes in 1524 for Langres Cathedral, to have sold a damascened basin to Francis I in 1528 when the King visited Dijon and to have made a number of other works.



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