Charles Amand-Durand Biography

Charles Amand-Durand




Printmaker and publisher Charles Amand-Durand was born in Cheny, Yonne, France in 1831. He was known for his pioneering development of reproduction techniques used to preserve Old Master engravings and woodcuts from the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries, including those of Rembrandt, Albrecht Drurer, Hans Sebald Beham, and others. Charles Amand-Durand died in Paris, France in 1904.

From Alliance Art Publishing:
Amand-Durand was employed by the Louvre Museum to restore their Old Master print collection beginning in the late 1860s. He comprehensively researched many public and private collections displaying the Old Masters’ engravings and realized that many of the images would eventually fade completely. In order to form exact reproductions, he used as his guide, not the worn and flat original copper or wood plates, but the 1st & 2nd state prints of the original works. Durand dedicated a major part of his life to recreating in exact detail the engraved plates of Rembrandt & other old Masters.

Amand-Durand’s re-engravings became so well respected that major collectors & institutions throughout Europe sought to acquire them, including the French Bibliotheque Nationale and the Louvre Museum in Paris.

In 1895 Theo Van Gogh, brother and manager of Vincent Van Gogh stumbled across Amand-Durand’s work. He was so impressed that he sought the artist out. Afterward contacting  Vincent to express his enthusiasm for his artistic talents and intellect. Van Gogh was one of the many that recognized Amand-Durand’s talents  at the end of the 19th century and beyond.

In 1855, the Conservator of the Cabinet de Estampes, George Duplessis, was so appreciated of the genius of Durand  that he had his work published in books by the Bibliotheque Nationale, France. Amand-Durand’s plates were used in an anthology of European engravings, from the 15th to 19th centuries. This publication was beautifully presented and made available at considerable cost to the wider public in 1870.