Bernard Baron (Biographical details)

Bernard Baron (publisher/printer; printmaker; French; British; Male; 1696 c. - 1762)

Also known as

Baron, Bernard

Address

Panton Square near Piccadilly, London (c.1748-1751)

Biography

Engraver, born Paris, 1696, son of Laurent Baron, engraver, and wife Francoise Aveline; trained by his stepfather Nicolas Henri Tardieu; invited to London in company of Nicholas Dauphin de Beauvais by Claude Dubosc to help with engravings after Louis Laguerre's wall paintings of the Duke of Marlborough's Battles in Marlborough House; before 1720 collaborated with other French engravers in a series of plates after Thornhill's paintings in the dome of St. Paul's Cathedral (see Thornhill, introductory note to Nos.77-79); also assisted Dubosc and Sir Nicholas Dorigny in 1720 with their engravings after the Raphael cartoons then at Hampton Court. Was identified as subject of a drawing by Antoine Watteau (in London 1719-1720), showing an engraver at work; married Grace Lafosse in 1722 and had a son also called Bernard; returned to Paris in 1729 and contributed to Pierre Crozat's collection of prints after Italian old masters and Jean de Julienne's collection of prints after Watteau his portrait painted by Jean-Baptiste Vanoo; in 1735 Baron was one of the group of leading London artists portrayed by Gawen Hamilton in 'A Conversation of Virtuosis...at the Kings Armes' and Baron also gave evidence to the committee of the House of Commons that was to lead to the Engravers'Copyright Act. Baron's most highly paid commission was 150 guineas in 1736 for a large engraving of Holbein's painting of Henry VIII giving the patent to the Barber-Surgeons' Company; in 1740s and 1750s Baron advertised prints after Titian, Van Dyck and Watteau and Hogarth (including plates 2 and 3 of Marriage a la mode) and other painters and at prices up to 13s6d, the most expensive prints on the market; his stock at Panton Street was valuable enough to merit fire insurance; on his death in 1762, his plates were passed to his son upon whose death in 1770, they were bought by John Boydell.

Bibliography

Sheila O'Connell, 'Baron, Bernard (1696-1762)', in ODNB, 2004
IFF II (67 nos)
Ruch, J E, 'Nouvelles de l'Estampe', no.12 1973, pp.13-22
Clayton, T, 'The English print 1688-1802', 1997
Croft-Murray, E., 'Catalogue of British drawings in the British Museum' vol.2, BM (unpublished notes)
Walpole, 'Anecdotes III', pp. 979-80
Kerslake,J., 'National Portrait Gallery, Early Georgian Portraits', I, pp.340-2 No. 1384