Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Le Davis, Edward

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LE DAVIS, EDWARD (1640?–1684?), engraver, was a Welshman, born about 1640. His family name was Davis, the French prefix being an addition of his own. He was apprenticed to David Loggan [q. v.], but resenting his treatment by his master's wife broke his articles and went to Paris. There he practised his art and engaged in business relations with François Chauveau, whose name appears as the publisher of Le Davis's prints of 'St. Cecilia,' after Vandyck, 'Ecce Homo,' after A. Carracci, and 'The Infant Christ holding a cross,' the last bearing the date 1671. Soon after that year Le Davis returned to London, where he is said to have engaged successfully in picture-dealing. He also painted portraits, but is now only known by his engravings, which, though poorly executed, are of historical interest. These include portraits of Charles II (afterwards altered to William III), Catherine of Braganza, after J. B. Caspars (frontispiece to vol. ii. of Pitt's 'Atlas.' 1681) James, duke of York; the Prince and Princess of Orange, after Lely; the Duchess of Portsmouth, after Lely; and Charles, duke of Richmond, after Wissing; also George Monck, duke of Albemarle, and Bertram Ashburnham, both engraved for Guillim's 'Heraldry,' 1679. Le Davis is believed to have died about 1684.

[Walpole's Anecdotes of Painting (Dallaway and Wornum), p. 941; Vertue's Collections in Brit. Mus. Addit. MS. 23078; Nagler's Allgemeines Künstler-Lexikon; Andressen's Handbuch für Kupferstich-Sammler, 1870; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists.]

F. M. O'D.