LÉPICIÉ, François-Bernard
(b. 1698, Paris, d. 1755, Paris)


Engraver, part of a French family of artists. François-Bernard Lépicié was an engraver who became secretary and historiographer of the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, in which capacity he compiled a catalogue of the paintings in the French royal collection and an important set of lives of the Premiers Peintres du Roi. His wife, Renée-Elisabeth Lépicié (née Marlie; 1714-73), was also an engraver, signing a number of plates after François Boucher, Jean-Siméon Chardin, Noël Hallé and other artists. Their son Nicolas-Bernard Lépicié (1735-1784) was a painter specializing in large historical and religious canvases, although he is perhaps best known for his charming small-scale genre scenes.

François-Bernard Lépicié trained as an engraver under Jean Mariette and Gaspard Duchange and before 1724 visited London, where with Claude Dubosc (fl 1711-40) and Nicolas-Dauphin de Beauvais (1687-1763) he engraved the Raphael cartoons of the Acts of the Apostles at Hampton Court. In 1724 he returned to Paris, where he contributed to some major collections of engravings, including the famous Recueil Crozat (1729), but devoted himself mainly to interpreting the paintings of such contemporaries as Rosalba Carriera, Jean-Baptiste Pater, Jean-Marc Nattier and above all Charles-Antoine Coypel.

Among his early prints are Spring after Rosalba and the Coquettish Widow after Coypel. He was approved (agréé) at the Académie Royale in 1734, but he did not deliver his morceau de réception, a portrait of Nicolas Bertin after Jacques-François de Lyen (1684-1761), until 1740, when he was received (reçu) as a full member. It was the support of Coypel and of Philibert Orry, then Directeur-Général des Bâtiments du Roi, whose portrait after Hyacinthe Rigaud Lépicié engraved in 1737, that ensured his election as Secrétaire Historiographe (permanent secretary and official historian) to the Académie Royale on 26 April 1737.