French engravers in the face of Jansenism during the Eighteenth Century

Bernard Picart (1673-1733), The chained nuns, or the Destruction of Port-Royal des Champs, burin engraving, circa 1709, Paris.

The religious crises connected to Jansenism affected the careers of many early eighteenth century French engravers, who either went into exile, or served as the secret correspondents of French engravers who had settled in England or Holland, which became platforms for the diffusion of polemical engravings. In the 1760s, the participation of French engravers in clandestine Jansenist initiatives compelled them to emigrate definitively, or to stay abroad for many years. Once they emigrated, they often completely changed their artistic orientation.