Born in Paris in 1673 Bernard Picart was a French artist who spent much of his life in Amsterdam and is most well known for his book illustrations. In a time of religious unrest in Europe, Bernard was radically committed to religious tolerance and his best known work, Cérémonies et coutumes religieuses de tous les peuples du monde, was an attempt to document religious beliefs from around the world as objectively as possible. It is an immense work of 12 volumes and 266 engravings which he produced between 1723-1743. Picart himself never traveled outside of Europe, but relied on written accounts and sketches from travelers to India, the Americas and other regions.
He published Receuïl de Lions in 1728 as a series of 12 small engravings 13x 20cm. Three he drew himself from life, seven are engravings after Rembrandt drawings, and one is after Paulus Potter, a 17th century Dutch artist famous for his paintings of animals. This small ‘pocket edition’ was so popular Picart issued a much larger edition in 1729 of 42 prints that was 20x26.5cm.
Sherman Art Library Special Collection N7668.L56 P53 1728