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Edouard Travies (French, 1809 - 1870), Little Egret, Common Crane, and Spoonbill

Edouard Travies (French, 1809 - 1870), Little Egret, Common Crane, and Spoonbill

  • $ 4,500.00

Edouard Travies (French, 1809 - 1870)
Little Egret, Common Crane, and Spoonbill
Pencil, pen, and brown ink, grey and brown wash, gouache, framing lines in pencil
Signed and dated ‘Edouard Travies 1834’
Paper size: 6 ¾ x 4 in.
Provenance: Marcel Jeanson; Sotheby’s, Monaco, 16 June 1988.

George Louis LeClerq, Le Comte de Buffon, was superintendent for half a century of the Royal Gardens at Paris and based his exhaustive, monumental “Natural History” on its extensive wildlife collections. His detailed descriptions of hundreds of animals achieved immediate popularity: over fifty French editions, numerous translations, and hundreds of abridgments of his work appeared and influenced science into the 20th-century. The volumes of the Histoire Naturelle began to be published in 1749 and continued well beyond Buffon’s death in 1788.

René-Primevère Lesson took it upon himself to supplement Buffon’s monumental work in the as Compléments de Buffon in 1838, focusing on animal species, especially mammals and birds been discovered since the great naturalist’s death. Aside from this endeavor, Lesson prepared for an edition of Buffon’s complete works, which was also to include new species. These exquisite watercolors were commissioned by Lesson to serve as models for the engravings in his publications, and each is highly faithful to Buffon's pioneering work. Lesson had the judgment to select the most noted French natural history painters of his time, including such luminaries as Edouard Travies, Jean-Gabriel Pretre, Emile Blanchard, and Antoine-Charles Vauthier, for these original watercolors of birds. Each is delineated in deeply saturated, intense colors, often heightened with gum Arabic and white, and is so finely drafted that the birds’ plumage's textures appear highly naturalistic. These watercolors, executed by some of the most notable names in French ornithological painting, illustrate the highest quality from an unrivaled period of natural history art. Each is from the Jeanson collection and mounted with gold borders.
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