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AUDEBERT, JEAN BAPTISTE (1759-1800), French artist
and naturalist, was born at Rochefort in 1759. He studied
painting and drawing at Paris, and gained considerable reputation
as a miniature-painter. Employed in preparing plates for the
Histoire des coléoptères of G.A. Olivier (1756-1814), he acquired
a taste for natural history. In 1800 appeared his first original
work, L’Histoire naturelle des singes, des makis et des galéopithèques,
illustrated by sixty-two folio plates, drawn and engraved by
himself. The colouring in these plates was unusually beautiful,
and was applied by a method devised by himself. Audebert
died in Paris in 1800, leaving complete materials for another
great work, Histoire des colibris, des oiseaux-mouches, des jacamars
et des promérops, which was published in 1802. Two hundred
copies were printed in folio, one hundred in large quarto, and
fifteen were printed with the whole text in letters of gold.
Another work, left unfinished, was also published after the
author’s death, L’Histoire des grimpereaux et des oiseaux de
paradis. The last two works also appeared together in two
volumes, Oiseaux dorés ou à reflets métalliques (1802).
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