Bird Engravings on 18th Century Rag Paper by Francois-Nicolas Martinet


Out of stock

Individual bird scenes captured on paper in the style of the Audubon bird engravings. These small, gem like hand-colored engravings represent the rare and compelling ornithological drawings of the influential naturalist and painter Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon, the founder of the Museum of Natural History in Paris. He is often thought of as the founding father of ornithology. His goal was to create images of the majority of the world’s birds in their natural environment. His work prefigured the works of John James Audubon.

These hand-colored engravings were made on original 18th century rag paper by Francois-Nicolas Martinet. They are in mint condition ready to be framed. They will make a beautiful presentation in any home especially in the home of a naturalist or bird lover.


6 inches x 3.5 inches (8 inches x 10 inches in the matte).




Each engraving is $175, a pair is $320. Engravings can be purchased singly or in groups. We have several dozen engravings in total. The entire set can be purchased for $2,275. Please contact us to let us know which engraving(s) you’d like to buy.


The engravings of water birds were made 1771-1790. The engravings of songbirds made 1771-1795. They come from the collection Buffon-Histoire Naturelle Des Oiseaux: Illustre´e Par 1008 Gravures de Francois-Nicolas Martinet (Buffon- A Natural History of Birds Illustrated with 1008 engravings by Francois-Nicolas Martinet). With this natural history of birds Buffon attempted to paint the world’s birds precisely and in their natural environment. In this same way 30 years later John James Audubon published his major work: “The Birds of America.”

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