Painter, copperplate engraver, commercial artist, architect, publisher of copplerplate engravings, draughtsman and ornament draughtsman
Relatively little survives - or is identified - of the originally quite extensive work of this artist. However, the facts of his career shuttling between Paris and Rome, the type of his varied commissions, and the official positions he held tell us much about the situation of French art and painting in the period before the reign of Louis XIV. Errard, the son of a painter, first arrived in Paris around 1620 and then left for Rome. There, thanks to official recommendations, he was received into the art-loving circles of the French diplomatic corps attached to the Vatican, and above all came to know R. Fréart de Chambray. Through him and through Sublet de Noyers, then Surintendant des Bâtiments in Paris, Errard was given the opportunity of several years of further training in Rome (1629-1635). He was especially interested in the study of antiquity, and produced numerous drawings whose skill and precision brought him recognition. In this way he was given entrée into the circle around Cassiano del Pozzo, the scholarly collector and patron of Nicolas Poussin. After his return to France at the beginning of the 1640s, Errard, once again sponsored by Sublet de Noyers, worked together with Fréart de Chambray on the publication of Palladio's 'Four Books on Architecture' and Leonardo da Vinci's 'Treatise on Painting' (1651). In doing so, he altered drawings by Poussin that had been done for the project. Beginning in 1646, Errard worked repeatedly for the court; he designed decorations for new apartments in the Palais Royal, in the Louvre, and for various Parisian city palais. In 1648 he was among the founding members of the Academy, which he would later serve as treasurer and rector. The growing influence of Le Brun caused Errard, among others, to move to Rome, where he was rector of the newly founded Academy until 1683. In 1670 he produced the designs for the Paris church of Marie de l'Assomption (Rue Saint Honoré), a cupola structure influenced by neoclassicism. Aside from one stay in Paris (1673-1675), Errard lived in Rome until his death.