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Superb Set Of Twelve Martinet Bird Copper Plate Engravings

Superb Set Of Twelve Martinet Bird Copper Plate Engravings

Superb Set Of Twelve Martinet Bird Copper Plate Engravings


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About this item

A set of twelve beautiful hand coloured copper plate engravings from '1770- 1786 Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux ' Paris Imprimerie Royale by Le Comte de Buffon Georges- Louis Marie Leclerc . The engravings are by Francois Nicholas Martinet, the foremost bird artist of the period, engraver and artist to the French Court. George Louis Leclerc Buffon ( 1707-1788) of aristocratic French origin, was the preeminent scientist and mathematician of the late 18th century. He directed the Jardin des Plantes botanical garden in Paris, which still exists today. His most outstanding achievement came in the field of natural history with the publication of the monumental Histoire Naturelle, Generale et Particuliere(1749-1788) in 36 volumes, for which Martinet created all the bird illustrations which were also published separately in Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux. Francois Nicholas Martinet (1725-1804) was the French court engraver and artist. He illustrated many of the plays and operas by the luminaries of the day such as Voltaire, also drawing and engraving landscapes, portraits of notables and scenes of Versailles. He lived through one of the most tumultuous times in French history, witnessing the reigns of Louis XV, Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette. These engravings date from 1780 and are original hand coloured copper plate engravings. The paper is thick creamy chain-lined handmade paper with strong plate marks. The birds are presented in handmade Italian wooden frames behind white water glass which cuts reflection and affords some protection to the engravings. 1780


W34.5 x H39.5 cm



Wear condition


Date of manufacture



18th Century and Earlier


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