A sword man, little nephew of Louis XIV, Anne-Claude de Tubières, Count of Caylus, left the army in 1714 to enter the Academy of Letters; the same year he went to Italy. Friend of Watteau and Mariette, Caylus was an enlightened amateur of Italian painting from the Upper Renaissance (Roman and Venetian). The Count is responsible for an astonishing production in terms of the number of engravings made after the Italian masters, particularly after Piero Santi Bartoli's drawings.
This prolific author left us, because in addition to being an engraver, he was a writer, he published various works: in 1730, in the Portraiture des dessins d'après les maîtres, he published the collection of Têtes de caractères engraved after Leonard de Vinci. In addition, he had Winckelmann's first essay on the excavations at Herculaneum translated and published (which he visited in person in 1715 and which would remain his obsession for nearly 30 years...).
The reason why there are not many original prints of Caylus left can be explained by the following fact: the author, it seems, engraved his brass with etching, made a few prints and then polished the copper in order to use it again.