Antique French, Hand-Painted Bird Engravings by Martinet
This beautiful original copper-plate engraving of a bird comes from one of the most comprehensive and important French ornithological works produced in the 18th century. The artist François Nicolas Martinet, most important bird artist of his time, made these prints and hand colored them for the 36 volume of Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux (Natural history) in Paris. The collection was published by the Count Buffon- a French naturalist, mathematician, and encyclopedist.
This collection of images is made up of 1,008 hand-colored prints of birds from both Europe and the Tropics.The renderings of these birds are quite curious because instead of drawing from nature, the birds were drawn from studying skins that had been gathered months and kept preserved in ships that were journeying back from the Tropics to Europe. The feathers, bills and legs were sometimes damaged or discolored meaning the artist Martinet used his imagination to create the perched bird in its natural landscape. Each bird is meticulously illustrated in a minimal setting, and framed by a sharp yellow border. The colors are vibrant and enhance the line work of the engravings. This print is a fantastic antique for any art collection, but also works well in a contemporary setting. There are 5 framed Martinet hand colored engravings available, each one is signed by the artist in the bottom left and numbered in the top left corner. The name of the bird is printed at the bottom of the image in beautiful cursive writing. Paper of the print is in great condition, with no foxing. Each plate image measures 10 x 8 1/2 inches, and is surrounded by a 3 inch soft white matt. The framed engraving is archivally mounted and measures a total of 16.5 x 15 inches. There are five Martinet bird engravings available in the shop, numbers: 603, 628, 630, 646, 648. They work well as a group but also individually. This bird engraving is of the Choucas of the Philippines, colored in deep Prussian blues and accentuated by lime green branch and striking yellow border, number 603.
FRAMED: HEIGHT: 16½ in | WIDTH: 15 in
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