Histoire de l’illustration naturaliste - History of naturalist illustration
I recently picked up a copy of this book at the excellent ‘Librairies Bedi Thomas‘
It is in French so it’s taking me a while to decipher it but it seems to be an excellent summary of the history of biological illustration (it also covers photography an film making) something that I don’t think exists in English. It would be nice if there was an English translation.
Here is the Google translation of the publishers description:
“More than one window of the living world, naturalistic images offer us a mirror on ourselves and on our interest in nature. The story of naturalist illustration begins in the Renaissance, when artists and scientists are dedicated to the production of images of animals and plants. Therefore, naturalistic illustrations will allow generations to discover the living world.
Valerie Chansigaud traces a rich history and discover the unexpected accuracy of the first books of botany of the Renaissance, the difficult return on illustrated books, the lives of great illustrators (Redouté, Audubon, Wolf, Fuertes), the creation of images reference times of fabricated structures (such as Durer rhinoceros), the emergence of field guides (including the famous Peterson), the revolution of photography and film (the brothers Kearton to Attenborough via Cousteau), the influence of a more global perception of the environment (Humboldt, Wallace, Darwin, Brehm …)”
The Author Valerie Chansigaud has a website with a section about the book, some nice galleries and a useful bibliography.
There’s also a video about the book: