Jean-Gabriel Pretre (French, fl. 1824-1840), Bird Study [Pigeon Hawks]
Jean-Gabriel Pretre (French, fl. 1824-1840)
Bird Study [Pigeon Hawks]
Watercolor with traces of pencil
Signed lower left: J.G. Pretre
Paper size: 3 3/4 x 6 1/4 in
Frame size: 13 1/2 x 16 in
RENÉ-PRIMEVÈRE LESSON’S BUFFON PUBLICATIONS
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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