Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Ravenet, Simon François

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RAVENET, SIMON FRANÇOIS (1721?–1774), engraver, born in Paris about 1721 (or, according to other accounts, in 1706), studied engraving in the excellent school of Jacques-Philippe Le Bas, and engraved numerous pictures of importance after Titian, Paolo Veronese, D. Feti, Charles Coypel, A. Watteau, and others. Ravenet came to London about 1750, and was associated with F. Vivares, V. M. Picot, and other French engravers in founding an important school of line-engraving in London. In these engravings the ground outline was strongly etched, and then finished with the engraver. Ravenet was largely employed by Alderman John Boydell, for whom he engraved important plates after C. Cignani, Luca Giordano, Guido Reni, N. Poussin, Salvator Rosa, and others. He was associated with J. M. Delâtre in engraving Hogarth's ‘Good Samaritan,’ and with Picot in Hogarth's ‘Pool of Bethesda,’ both of which engravings were published in 1772. Ravenet was also largely employed in making designs for the porcelain manufactory at Chelsea. He engraved several portraits, including Lord Camden after Sir Joshua Reynolds, George II after D. Morier, and others. Ravenet died in London on 2 April 1774. A portrait of him, by Zoffany, was engraved by himself in 1763. He left a son, Simon François Ravenet the younger, born in London about 1755, who learnt engraving under his father, but returned to Paris, where he engraved many plates after Boucher, Correggio, and others.

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Beraldi et Portalis's Graveurs du 18me Siècle; Smith's Nollekens and his Times.]

L. C.