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Article

Christian Michel

(b Paris, March 19, 1730; d Paris, March 7, 1809).

French engraver, illustrator and writer. He came from a poor family and trained with Guillaume Dheulland (c. 1700–c. 1770) by drawing cartouches for maps. He also had lessons from Pierre-Edmé Babel, a goldsmith and designer of ornament. Having designed mainly cartouches, coats of arms and various types of ornament in the 1750s, he gained recognition as a designer of culs-de-lampe and fleurons, which were considered indispensable for all lavishly produced books. In particular, he produced 57 illustrations for La Fontaine’s Contes in the Fermiers Généraux edition (Paris, 1762) and 38 fleurons and culs-de-lampe for Ovid’s Metamorphoses in Lemire’s and Bassan’s edition (Paris, 1767–71). His long-standing acquaintance Charles-Nicolas Cochin II entrusted him with engraving two plates for the Conquêtes de l’Empereur de la Chine (1767–73; Roux, nos 227–8), an important series of large-scale prints on which the best French engravers were being employed. Large plates are, however, rare in Choffard’s oeuvre; he devoted himself mainly to book decoration, such as fleurons for the Abbé de Saint-Non’s ...

Article

Blanca García Vega

(b Valencia, 1757; d Madrid, after 1807).

Spanish illustrator, printmaker and painter. He was nominated Miembro de Mérito of the Real Academia de S Fernando, Madrid, in 1781. He made reproductive engravings of paintings and illustrated such books as Juan Antonio Pellicer’s (1738–1806) annotated edition of Don Quixote (1797), the Fábulas morales (1781–4) by Félix María de Samaniego (1745–1801) and the 1803 edition of the short stories Novelas ejemplares by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547–1616). In his depiction (1790) of the fire in the Plaza Mayor in Madrid and in his interiors of prisons and barracks he pioneered the use of aquatint. He produced the series Caprichos y bombachadas and illustrated the title-page of Ideas y caprichos pintorescos (Madrid, 1807). He had two sons: Laureano (1802–58), an engraver, and Vicente (1796–1857), a history painter.

M. Ossorio y Bernard: Galería biográfica de artistas españoles del siglo XIX...

Article

[Iwase Samuru; Rissai, Seisai, Santō Kyōden]

(b Edo [now Tokyo], 1761; d Edo, 1816).

Japanese print designer, book illustrator and writer. Together with Kitao Masayoshi (1764–1824) and Kubo Shunman, he was one of Kitao Shigemasa most brilliant students. He made his début in ukiyoe (‘pictures of the floating world’) in 1778 with his illustrations for the kibyōshi (‘yellow cover books’; comic novels) Kaichō ryaku no meguriai. During the next few years he produced illustrations for popular novels, in the manner of other artists in the Kitao studio. At the same time he began to design single-sheet prints, including yakushae (‘pictures of actors’). In the early 1780s Masanobu illustrated extravagant ehon (‘picture books’) and kyōka (‘crazy verse’) books and also produced nishikie (‘brocade pictures’; full-colour prints) series of bijinga (‘pictures of beautiful women’). In 1783 he published his most famous work, Seirō meikun jihitsushū (‘Collection of writings of the wise ruler of the greenhouses’; woodblock-print; London, BM, which consists of 14 tate ōban...