Saturday, November 26, 2005

Les Oiseaux de Paradis

Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux de Paradis at NYPL. Published 1806 by Francois Levaillant. Jacques Barraband, artist. (115 colour plate thumbnails over 10 web pages)

Levaillant was a notable ornithologist originally from Surinam but educated in France, who went on a couple of exploratory tours of Africa. He released 2 sets of popular volumes recounting his travels and documenting the birds of Africa and later wrote a number of other ornithological works. Because of his opposition to Linnaeus's binomial nomenclature system, species were only given popular french names (in the image URLs above). Barraband is considered to be the leading French ornithological artist of the 18th century.

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