A Set of 8 Framed Engravings of Birds w Hand Color From Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux, French, 1770-1786
engravings with hand color
10 3/4 x 8 1/2 inches (each)
13 1/2 x 11 1/2 inches framed (each)
Printed by the Imprimerie Royal, Paris
set includes the following pages and birds: 4 Chardonneret, Chardonneret blanc; 5 Carouge du Mexique, Carouge de St. Dominique (2 birds per page); 8 Veuve de la Cote D'Afrique, Petite Veuve; 55 Moineau frane jeune, Cardinal Dominiquain; 218 Le Be-croise, d'Allemagne; 256 Etourneau, de la Louisiane; 258 Merle, de Bengale; 562 Le Merle de Roche
Francois Nicholas Martinet, A Set of 8 Framed Engravings of Birds w Hand Color From Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux, French, 1770-1786
Engravings from Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux, Imprimerie Royal, Paris, 1770-1786.
This set of eight engravings of birds with hand color are taken from the Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux, widely recognized as the pre-eminent late eighteenth-century French book of ornithology. Francois Nicholas Martinet produced 1008 images of birds for Count Buffon's volume on birds. George-Louis Marie Leclerc, the Count of Buffon, was a leading scientist of his day and became admitted to the Academy of Science in Paris for his work in the fields of botany and zoology.
In Englightenment France and throughout Europe, encyclopedias dedicated to scientific pursuits became the rage. Count Buffon set out to categorize and disseminate knowledge about the natural world. It resulted in the 44 volume Histoire Naturelle, which Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux is part of.
Francois Nicholas Martinet enjoyed a remarkable career as an engraver. He collaborated with a number of ornithologists and perfected his talent before collaborating with the Count of Buffon. Martinet was a royal engraver, a Graveur du Cabinet du Roi. Many of his engravings serve as records of court life under Louis XVI. Martinet's birds are magnificent. Clearly he had a flair for composition and design. The yellow border around each of these engravings is a unique touch.