Gilles-Louis Chrétien

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Gilles-Louis Chrétien, The philosopher Louis-Claude St. Martin, Physionotrace by G.-L. Chrétien

Gilles-Louis Chrétien (5 February 1754 – 4 March 1811) was a French cellist.

Chrétien was born at Versailles. In 1787 he invented a machine called a 'physionotrace,' with which he took portraits in profile from life. He worked initially with Edme Quénedey, but then went into partnership with the miniaturist Jean-Baptiste Fouquet, until the latter's death c. 1799. Fouquet produced the grand trait drawing, sometimes highlighted or coloured in pastel, which Chrétien then engraved in aquatint. Many of them are of great interest on account of the celebrity of the persons represented, 'L'Incorruptible Robespierre,' Mirabeau, and Marat being among the hundreds which he produced. He died in Paris in 1811.


  • Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainBryan, Michael (1886). "Chretien, Gilles Louis". In Graves, Robert Edmund. Bryan's Dictionary of Painters and Engravers (A–K). I (3rd ed.). London: George Bell & Sons.