La Pie Huppe'e by Jacques Barraband


La Pie Huppe'e


Jacques Barraband

Ref GM621
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 Francois Levaillant. These were the Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux de Paridis et des Rolliers (bird 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 time of publication, Barraband was already a successful name and had even received commissions from Napoleon himself. At the turn of the nineteenth 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. Le Pie Huppée is also known as the hoopoe, and is a colourful bird found across Afro-Eurasia, notable for its distinctive crown of feathers. Like the Latin name, upapa, the English name is an onomatopoeic form which imitates the cry of the bird. The hoopoe is the national bird of Israel. Portrayed perched on a branch, this depiction is typical of Barraband’s general style.