Jean Berain the elder was a French designer and engraver born into a family of fine craftsmen and his father and uncle were both master gunsmiths. From 1644 the family lived in Paris and Berain came to train under Charles Le Brun and in 1674 he was appointed royal designer to King Louis XIV. In the later part of the 17th century he designed carnival costumes and worked on grand events for king Louis XIV, events such as masked balls and funeral processions and along that he was also creating decorations and machinery for the Paris Opera. He developed his own style which was a refine and delicate variation of the Italian grotesques.
His designs inspired the ornamentation of rooms and furniture, the famous cabinetmaker André-Charles Boulle with his elaborate work in etched brass and tortoiseshell marquetry got much of his inspiration from the designs of Berain.
He was also a close friend to Nicodemus Tessin the younger which insured that his design was transmitted to the court circles in Sweden. By his contemporaries he was called, The oracle of taste in all matters of decoration.