AUDEBERT, Jean-Baptiste (1759-1800)
"Le tarsier podje / ... vol.13 / des Iles moluques" [original watercolour sketch for 'Le Tarsier / Tarsius Daubentonii']
Original pencil, bodycolour and watercolour by Audebert, on laid paper. Fine condition. Sheet size: 20 3/4 x 13 3/4 inches.
A very fine original watercolour by Audebert: an original of an image that was published as the print titled 'Le Tarsier' in his first great natural history book 'Histoire Naturelle des Singes' (Paris: 1797-1800).
Although the present drawing is unsigned, it is clearly by Audebert. This fine watercolour gives some insight into the working methods of one of the most highly respected pioneers of a golden era in natural history publications in France. Audebert, a painter by training, was born at Rochefort. His interest in natural history was stimulated by a commission to help with the preparation of the plates for G. A. Olivier's work on Coleoptera. This drawing is an original for Audebert's Histoire Naturelle des Singes , the only publication of his own work to be completed during his life-time, which was published in ten parts between 1797 and 1800. He died in 1800, in Paris, leaving notes and drawings for a number of other works which were published after his death. Tarsiers are nocturnal, arboreal, insect-eating animals. They live in the coastal rainforests and bamboo thickets of Sumatra, Borneo, Sulawesi, Mindanao and the Philippines.