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Beauvais, Simon

Date and place of birth:
Date and place of death:
(fl) 1757-78
Known places of work:
Known techniques:
Painted on card and paper
Known materials:
Not Recorded


Simon Beauvais was a profilist for a period of twenty-one years. He was born in France, but he began his work as a silhouettist in London in the year 1757. Little pieces are left from his long career. Amusingly, the most we known of his personal life is that he was considered by some to be “one of the dirtiest men of his day”.

John Thomas Smith in ‘Book for a Rainy Day’ records that “through sheer idleness [he] became so filthily dirty in his person and dress, that few of the company would sit with him”. Apart from his apparent lack of personal hygiene, not much is known about Beauvais’ life. He was an award-winning miniaturist, recognised by the Society of Artists in 1765. He also worked for a time in Tunbridge Wells, where he was well known for his portraits. He produced painted silhouettes, of a relatively high quality, and his work if not his company was appreciated by contemporaries. No trade labels or signatures have survived. Beauvais was known for working with watercolour, Indian ink and lead pencil – sometimes all three. He was also a relatively skilled copyist. Unfortunately, little of his work survives today.

Additional research about Simon Beauvais:

Source: McKechnie (Author of, British Silhouette Artists and their Work 1760-1860)

Beauvais, Simon (McKechnie Section 2)