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Petit Rale de Cayenne
- A detailed hand colored engraved ornithological print by Francoise Nicolas Martinet from the series "Histoire naturelle Des Oiseaux", by George Louis Marie Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, published in Paris in 1770-86. This print measures 11" x 9". François Nicolas Martinet engraved illustrations of birds for books by some of the most influential ornithologists in 18th-century France. Born in 1731, Martinet was trained as an engineer and draftsman. Engraving illustrations for books probably began as a secondary profession, but as his popularity and output grew it must have consumed the majority of his time. Martinet's son Alexandre eventually assisted him and made many engravings, as is known from signatures and dates on the prints. Martinet also had two sisters, Angélique and Marie Thérèse, who were engravers as well, but it is not known if they worked with him. Towards the end of his career, Martinet drew upon his experience in engraving birds for others to publish his own ornithology books, producing plates until his death sometime in the late 1780s or early 1790s (sources disagree on the year). This edition, containing 1,008 images by Martinet, was certainly the most ambitious and comprehensive bird book, which had appeared at the time of its publication. Martinet completed both the original drawings and hand-engraved all of the copperplates. A broad spectrum of birds are shown, including birds native to Europe, as well as exotic tropical birds such as parrots and toucans. Each is rendered in a scientific manner, outlined in yellow border. They are distinctly 18th century in conception and style, generally with a hint of the bird's habitat, such as a tree branch, rock or water. Overall this print is in very good condition with some foxing/staining.
      [Bookseller: Arader Galleries San Francisco]
Last Found On: 2017-06-15           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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