16 December 2011

Pretty Birds

History Of Birds By Francois Nicolas Martinet
($51.47) Barnes & Noble

Having recently been given honorary "duck" status from a dover of ducks, I'm over the moon for History Of Birds by Francois Nicolas Martinet...or to put it in my newfound native tongue, "quack, quack, and quack." 
"F. N. Martinet first made his hand-colorized bird lithographs to help identify and classify the various species; they were published in the works of the leading ornithologists of the 18th century. However, they have long since been acclaimed as works of art in their own right. What makes Martinet's illustrations so special is the passion for detail, the coloring, which is especially striking in the bird's plumage, and the realism of his depictions, as he preferred live rather than preserved specimens. Histoire des oiseaux brings together more than 200 bird species in one volume. Not only do these illustrations offer us a fascinating overview, they also witness a period in history as well as documenting the exceptional talent of Martinet. The illustrations are discussed by Antoine Reille, an expert in fauna, and the president of the French Union for the Conservation of Nature." Barnes & Noble Online