Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Vivares, François

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VIVARES, FRANÇOIS (1709–1780), landscape-engraver, was born at St. Jean-de-Bruel, near Montpellier, France, on 11 July 1709, and brought up at Geneva. At the age of eighteen he came to London, where, according to Strutt, he obtained instruction from John Baptist Claude Chatelaine [q. v.]; but as that engraver was his junior, this is somewhat improbable. Vivares was an artist of great genius, and is regarded as one of the founders of the school of landscape-engraving in this country, of which William Woollett [q. v.] was the most distinguished member. Of his plates, which number about 160, and were largely published by Boydell, the most important are from pictures by the old masters, Claude, Gaspar Poussin, Il Bolognese, Vanderneer, and Cuyp; but a large proportion of them are views of English scenery after Gainsborough, Wootton, Smith of Derby, the Smiths of Chichester, and others. He particularly excelled in translating the works of Claude, and his ‘Morning,’ ‘Evening,’ ‘View of Naples,’ and ‘Enchanted Castle,’ after that painter, are masterpieces of the art. The last-mentioned plate he left unfinished at his death, and it was completed by Woollett. Vivares exhibited engravings with the Incorporated Society of Artists in 1766 and 1768. During the last thirty years of his life he resided in Great Newport Street, where he kept a print-shop. There he died on 28 Nov. 1780, and was buried in Paddington churchyard. He was thrice married, and had thirty-one children. There is a portrait of Vivares, engraved by himself and James Caldwall.

Thomas Vivares (fl. 1770–1790), a son of François, worked as assistant to his father, and in 1764 gained a premium from the Society of Arts for two engravings. He afterwards executed a few landscapes after J. Vernet, Zuccarelli, A. Zingg, and others, but these possess little merit. His name appears on some of the plates in Robert and James Adam's ‘Works in Architecture,’ 1773, and Orme's ‘Rudiments of Landscape.’

[Strutt's Dict. of Engravers; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Dussieux's Artistes Français à l'Étranger; Nagler's Künstler-Lexikon.]

F. M. O'D.