AUDRAN, French family of artists
The family's history began with two engravers: Charles [Karl] Audran (c. 1594-1674), who is thought to have trained in Italy with Matthäus Greuter (1564/6-1638) and produced much work of inconsistent quality, and his brother Claude Audran I (c. 1592-1677), who made undistinguished book illustrations and portraits. Claude's eldest son, Germain (1631-1710), was also an engraver of book illustrations and portraits and taught at the Académie des Sciences, Belles-Lettres et Arts in Lyon. The family's most prominent members were Claude I's two younger sons: Claude Audran II (1639-1684), a painter, and particularly Girard Audran (1640-1703), an engraver. The next generation produced artists of some distinction in three of Germain's sons: Claude Audran III, a painter, and Benoît Audran I (1661-1721) and Jean Audran (1667-1756), both engravers; the latter's son Benoît Audran II (1698-1772) was an engraver of minor importance.