Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Fournier, Daniel

FOURNIER, DANIEL (d. 1766?), engraver and draughtsman, was probably a member of a French refugee family, and originally educated as a chaser. He also practised the varying professions of ‘à-la-mode beef-seller, shoemaker, and engraver,’ according to the inscription on a small portrait of him etched by himself. He likewise dealt in butter and eggs, modelled in wax, and taught drawing. In 1761, at about the age of fifty, he wrote and published ‘A Treatise of the Theory and Practice of Perspective, wherein the Principles of that most Useful Art are Laid Down by Dr. Brook Taylor, are fully and clearly Explained by Means of Moveable Schemes properly Adapted for the Purpose,’ &c. It is said that at the time he was writing it he used to draw the diagrams on the alehouse tables with chalk, and was known by the name of the ‘Mad Geometer.’ He was a good etcher, and etched a survey of the Leeward Islands. He also engraved in mezzotint a portrait of Cuthbert Mayne, a priest executed for heresy in 1579. In addition to these accomplishments he is said to have made a fiddle, and taught himself to play upon it. He died in Wild Court, Wild Street, about 1766.

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Dodd's manuscript History of English Engravers; Grose's Olio; Chaloner Smith's British Mezzotinto Portraits.]

L. C.