Rare Fish Prints

MARK CATESBY - THE SOLE Solea lunata print
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MARK CATESBY - THE SOLE Solea lunata print MARK CATESBY - THE SOLE Solea lunata print

MARK CATESBY - THE SOLE Solea lunata print


Mark Catesby (1683-1749) was one of the most influential naturalists of the 18th century, and according to Hunt,

“Natural History of Carolina is the most famous colour-plate book of American plant and animal life, and a fundamental and original work for the study of American species.”

Catesby, born in England in 1683, was inspired by one of his father’s friends, the botanist John Dale, and possibly the eminent scientist, John Ray, to become a natural historian. On his visit to North America from May 1722, Catesby explored the remoter areas of South Carolina, coastal Georgia and the Bahamas for the next four years.  Here he collected and sketched specimens of native plants and animals which formed the basis of this work.  

"Fish, which do not keep their Colours when out of their Element, I painted at different times, having a succession of them procur’d while their former lost their colours.”

Mark Catesby

Catesby then returned to London to prepare his colection for publication. With very little money, he taught himself to engrave and transfer all his drawings to copper plates, and colour them himself.

Catesby’s “Natural History of Carolinas” is a monument to patience, endurance and persistence.”  

S. Peter Dance & Geoffrey N. Swinney, Classic Natural History Prints – Fish. London, 1990.

Condition: Very good. Heavy chain lined paper with wide borders. Old closed tear to right margin. A few tiny unobtrusive specks. Colours rich and vibrant. Signed with Catesby's cipher on plate.
Date: London 1743
Size: Print: 36 x 52.5 cm 14 x 21 ¾ inches Plate: 27 x 36 cm 10 ½ x 14 ½ inches