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Jean-Gabriel Pretre (fl. 1824-1840) Shell Study 15

Jean-Gabriel Pretre (fl. 1824-1840) Shell Study 15

  • $ 2,800.00

Jean- Gabriel Pretre (fl. 1824-1840)
Shell Study 15
Graphite and watercolor enhanced with white on Bristol paper
Inscribed lower center with shell name
Paper size: 9 x 11 in

Jean-Gabriel Pretre, one of the most prolific and gifted artists of his time, was a painter frequently employed by naturalists to visually document plants and animals. As seen in this pair of outstanding watercolors, Pretre helped introduce his intellectually curious audiences to the Violet Pigeon (Columbia Janthina) and Himalayan Piroll Chasseur (or Cissa chinenis). Violet Pigeon was originally produced in Temminck and Laugier’s Nouveau Recueil de Planches Coloriees d’Oiseaux pour servir de suite et de complement aux planches de Buffon as plate 503. This bird is a native of China, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea, but is currently in danger of extinction. Pretre also created Himalayan Piroll Chasseur as an illustration, plate 401, for Temminck and Laugier’s famed nineteenth century textbook of natural history. This species is native to Southeast Asia.

These watercolors brilliantly display Pretre’s ability to animate two-dimensional subject matter. Pretre characteristically painted birds using deeply saturated colors, enabling his birds to stand out against their neutral bac grounds. Indeed, the Violet Pigeon’s plumage plays host to an array of dazzling colors, including cool blues and deep purples. The Himalayan Piroll Chasseur’s colors are even more intense, featuring a striking tropical blue, lime green and fiery orange. Pretre should also be commended for his close delineation of different textures in these two works. Pretre designed illustrations for some of the most important botanical and zooligcal books of his age, including Beauvois’ Bénin (published from 1804-1807), Beauvois’ Flore des Antilles (1808-1827), Buffon’s Natural History (1749-1804), Dumont, Quoy and Gaimard’s Voyage de decounvertes de l’astrolabe execute par ordre du roi... (1830-1835), Freycinet, Quoy and Gaimard’s Voyage autour du monde, enterpris par ordre du roi...(1824-1826), Jardine, Selby and Swanson’s The Naturalist’s Library (1833-1843), Laplace, Eydoux and Gervais’ Voyage autour du monde par les mers de l’Inde et de Chine execute sur la corvette de l’etat la favorite pendent les annees 1830, 1831 et to 1832...zoologie (1836-1839), Lesson’s Histoire naturelle des oiseaux de paradis et des epimaques (1834-1835), de la Sagra and d’Orbigny’s Histoire physique, politique et naturelle d’ile de Cuba (1839-1843), and de Savigny and Audon’s Systeme des oiseaux de l’Egypte et de la Syrie (1810).

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