Le Petit Ara by Jacques Barraband


Le Petit Ara


Jacques Barraband

Ref GM031
Type Fine Art Print
Image Size 17" x 23" (43 x 58 cm)
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Barraband’s most important work was the series of around 300 drawings which he completed for the three renowned ornithological monographs by the scientist François Levaillant. These were the Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux de Paradis et des Rolliers (birds of paradise), the Histoire Naturelle des Perroquets (parrots) and the Histoire Naturelle des Promerops (toucans). All three monographs were published at the turn of the nineteenth century and proved to be a landmark in ornithological publication because, in part at least, of quality and the sumptuous nature of the colour plates which were included. At the turn of the 19th Century, Levaillant was one of the new breed of scientists who began to travel the world to explore the natural habitats of the animals and birds which they studied. Increasingly these scientists worked in partnership with artists who were able to portray their discoveries, and Barraband’s enormous technical ability added considerably to the importance, and accessibility, of Levaillant’s scientific work. The Ara is a Neotropical genus of the macaw family, with eight extant species, and at least one further species which has recently become extinct. They can simply be described as large, striking parrots with long tails, long narrow wings and vividly coloured plumage. During the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries, many of these species were discovered in the tropics for the first time and they were named in different ways and in different languages by different explorers.