SILVESTRE, IsraŽl
(b. 1621, Nancy, d. 1691, Paris)

Biography

French engraver and draughtsman, member of a family of artists. About 1634 or 1635 he arrived in Paris, where his uncle IsraŽl Henriet taught him to draw and engrave and published his prints. Between 1638 and 1641 Silvestre travelled in Italy; records show that he was there again c. 1643 and in 1653. After the second visit, his Vues d'Italie (Faucheux, no. 10) appeared, followed by Vues de Paris et des environs (1645; F 50); Ports de mer (1648; F 15 and 1650-51); Paysages (1654); a second set of Vues d'Italie and prints of the Ballet Royal's Noces de Tťtis (1655; F 207); and Vues de ch‚teaux (F 62) dedicated (1658) to Louis XIV.

From 1662 he engraved plates for the King: Course de testes [tetes] et de bagues (1662; F 205); Plaisirs de l'isle enchantťe (1664; F 273 bis); and Ch‚teaux royaux (F 517). He produced over 1000 pieces. His style was at first rather loose but from 1643 onwards became finer and more delicate and gained in accuracy, becoming precise without being dry; it was sometimes similar to that of Jacques Callot or Stefano della Bella, with whom he was on friendly terms. In 1661 he inherited IsraŽl Henriet's plates and republished engravings from them.