Paris 1742 - Paris 1795
Antoine-Jean Duclos was a pupil of the draughtsman and engraver Augustin de Saint-Aubin, whose drawings he often reproduced as prints. Adept at the art of engraving and etching on a small scale, Duclos is perhaps best known as a book illustrator, his first efforts in this field coming around 1765. Alongside Charles-Nicolas Cochin and Hubert François Gravelot, he provided illustrations and vignettes for the Almanach iconologique, published between 1774 and 1781, and also contributed illustrations for such works as Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Oeuvres and Choiseul-Gouffier’s Voyage pittoresque de la Grèce. Much of his work was in the form of engravings after drawings by other artists, notably Cochin, Gravelot, Charles Eisen, Clément-Pierre Marillier and Alexandre-Evariste Fragonard. Duclos is recorded as exhibiting at the Salon just once, in 1795.
Drawings by Duclos - ‘quelques dessins à la facture petite et gentillette’, in the words of Edmond de Goncourt – are rare. In their Les graveurs du dix-huitième siècle, published between 1880 and 1882, Roger Portalis and Henri Béraldi noted that ‘Duclos était en outré un excellent dessinateur, dont la manière rappelait celle de Gravelot; nous avons vu de lui un certain nombre de dessins, qu’il a généralement gravés lui-même, pour des pièces de théâtre.’