BARRABAND, Jacques (1767/8-1809)
[Le Perroquet Bouquet (Red-necked Amazon [Amazona arausiaca])]
[Pl. 135] Paris: 1801-05. Colour-printed stipple engraving, finished by hand, engraved by Bouquet, printed by Langlois. Sheet size: 19 1/4 x 12 5/8 inches.
This print is from an apparently unrecorded issue of Levaillant's Perroquets published on large format paper (probably 'papier vélin colombier satiné'), with a scratch proof of the title and plate number, but otherwise avant-lettre. This issue is not recorded in any of the standard bibliographies. The Red-necked Amazon (or Amazona arausiaca) is an endangered species found in the wild only on the island of Dominica in the Caribbean, where its local name is 'Jaco'. Levaillant saw a living specimen in Amsterdam, and noted (in error) that it was a native of Brazil, although recording Buffon's opinion that it was from Guiana.
Jacques Barraband was the finest ornithological artist of his time. The son of a weaver at the Aubusson Factory, he is first mentioned as a pupil of Joseph Malaine (1745-1809), the eminent flower painter, and is known to have worked for both the Gobelin Factory and the porcelain factory of Sèvres. His most important work was undoubtedly the 300 or so drawings that he produced for François Levaillant's three great ornithological monographs, the greatest of which was the Histoire Naturelle des Perroquets (1801-1805).