Beautiful hand engravings produced for ‘Atlas de Zoologie : ou Collection de 100 Planches’ by Paul Gervais, published between 1816 and 1830.
“Paul Gervais (1816-1879) began his education in general science and medicine before specialising in palaeontology at the French Museum of Natural History in the 1830s. Soon after, Gervais was appointed to the Chair (later Dean) of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy in Montpelier in Southern France and later held professorships at the Sorbonne and the Museum of Natural History in Paris.
Gervais published widely across palaeontological-related subjects including a noted supplement on French zoology/palaeontology for a series by renowned naturalist, Georges Cuvier. Gervais was one of the earliest scientists to consistently use the term dinosaur.
In a 26-page preview, Gervais providee classification details of all the species illustrated in the ‘Atlas de Zoologie’ (1844). The beautiful hand-coloured engravings were executed by gifted hands after designs by Prêtre, Meunier and Vaillant. It seems that one of the original editors of the enormous zoology series (1816-1830) died before this particular set of illustrations could be allocated among the supplementary volumes, so this later Gervais volume features some of the most curious and unusual species from across the animal world.”
The little weird looking fellow is a Tazmanian Devil, by the way…