Decree on Engravings, Paris (1660)

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France : Mss. Fr. 22119 n°21

Decree on Engravings, Paris (1660), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

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Full title:
'Decree of the Council of State which confirms and preserves the Art of Engraving - in copper, with the burin, aqua fortis, and by any other procedure - and those who make this their profession - both native citizens and foreigners - in the freedom which they have always had to exercise this art in the Kingdom, without having to fear that they might have their title of master or guild membership cancelled, or that they might be subjected to any other rule or form of control, regardless under what name this might be attempted'

Full title original language:
'Arrêt du Conseil d'État qui maintient et garde l'Art de la Gravûre de Taille-douce, au burein & à l'eau forte, & autre maniere telle qu'elle soit, & ceux qui font profession d'icelui, tant Regnicoles, qu'Etrangers, en la liberté qu'ils ont toûjours eûe de l'éxercer dans le Royaume, sans qu'ils y puissent être réduits en Maîtrise ni Corps-de-Métier, ni sujets à autre Regle ni Contrôle, sous quelques noms que ce soit'

By this decree of 26 May 1660 the liberty of engravers to exercise the art of copper engraving was confirmed. With reservation of the monopolies and rights held by members of the Academy of Painting and Sculpture, this liberty would be confirmed yet again, albeit not without some difficulty, by royal provisions issued in 1734, in particular the letters patent of 23 August 1734. Generally speaking, just as in the book trade, engraving privileges could, as the case might be, guarantee to the author of an engraving, or to its publisher, the exclusive right to exploit his work and protect him against copies made by colleagues. However, in contrast to literary authors, engravers, who were entitled to maintain a press at home, were in a much better situation to exercise by themselves their monopoly to their own profit.

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Author: N/A

Publisher: N/A

Year: 1660

Location: Paris

Language: French

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France : Mss. Fr. 22119 n°21

Persons referred to:
Loménie, Henri Auguste de
Louis XIV
Setton, Jacques de, Seigneur de l'Avenage

Places referred to:

Cases referred to:

Institutions referred to:
Châtelet (Provostship of Paris)
King's Council of State (France)

French royal decree on the profession of engraving (1660)

art market
authors, self-publishing
authorship, romantic concept of
engravings, protected subject matter

Responsible editor: Frédéric Rideau

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