PEACOCK, PARROTFISH print
These exquisite prints are from the largest reference work of the Enlightenment, the 196 volume, Tableau Encyclopedique er Methodique des Trois Regnes de la Nature, published in Paris between 1789 and 1832.
French naturalist, professor and priest, Pierre Joseph Bonnaterre (1752-1804) was commissioned by the publisher Panckoucke to edit the sections on zoology. To illustrate the ichthyology volume, Bonnaterre copied everything that was available of Bloch’s masterpiece and from works by such eminent authors as Catesby, Willughby, Rondelet and Salviani, to assemble a collection of over 400 wonderful species.
These rare, original, and very beautiful copperplate engravings from 1788 have been superbly hand painted by one of the few remaining professional colourists in the UK specialising in fish. (Ref. Pietsch, 1995, p.141; Dean, Bibli. of Fishes, Vol.1, 1972, p.50)