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François Nicolas Martinet Engravings of Birds,  Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux, 1770-1786, Set of Six,

François Nicolas Martinet Engravings of Birds,

Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux, 1770-1786,

Set of Six,

Circa 1770.

Dimensions: Frame: 13 inches high x 13 5/8 inches wide.

These hand-colored copper-engravings are from François Nicolas Martinet's classic  Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux, 1770-1786. There are each signed in the bottom of the yellow border.

A. #133, 1. Tangara verd tachete des Indes; 2. Tangara du Peru.

B. # 709 1. Fauvette tachetee de la Louisiane; 2. Fauvette a poitrine jaune de la Louisiane

C. #575, 1. Grimpereau Olive de Madagascar; Grimpereau verd de Madagascar; 3. Sa femelle.

D. #246, 1. Grimperau des Philippines; 2. Sa femelle; 3. Grimpereau de Cap de Bonne-Esperance.

E.  #295, 1. Coucou de Madagascar appelle Toulou; 2 Coucou blue de Madagascar.

F. #203, Moineau de la cote d'Afrique, Moineau blue de Cayenne.

Over the course of his illustrious career, François Nicolas Martinet (1731-1790?) engrved illustrations of birds for some of the most influential naturalists in 18th-century France, including  François Salèrne, Mathurin Brisson, and, above all, Georges Louis Leclerc, le comte de Buffon.  

This exceptional, hand-colored engraving is from Georges Louis Leclerc Comte de Buffon's work Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux . The work was published in Paris from 1770 to 1786. Francois Nicolas Martinet provided all of the illustrations for the work.

Histoire Naturelle was the most comprehensive and noted ornithological work of the 1700s. It included a broad variety of birds native to Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

Martinet was one of the greatest birds artists of the 18th century. He worked for the French court as an engraver and artist. Martinet's illustrations are accurate and beautifully artistic.

Comte de Buffon was a respected naturalist and scientist. Buffon dared to challenge religious thought decades before Darwin. He suggested the Earth was older than 6,000 years and the common ancestry of apes and humans.

Great Bird Books says of this book "Certainly the most ambitious & comprehensive bird book, ranks still as one of the most important of all bird books from the Collectors’ point of view."

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, Générale et Particulière (1749–1788) in 36 volumes, for which Martinet created all the bird illustrations which were also published separately in Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux.

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