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Charles Plumier (1646-1704) and His Drawings of French and Caribbean Fishes

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ISBN: 9782856539057 DOI: 10.4000/books.mnhn.5040 Language: English
Publisher: Publications scientifiques du Muséum
Subject: Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2019-12-06 13:15:38
License: OpenEdition Licence for Books

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Never was a man so denied a place in history than Father Charles Plumier. Craftsman, illustrator, and engraver, but best known for his work as a botanist, Plumier devoted the better part of his life to collecting and illustrating plants and animals. Working nearly a century before the great eighteen-century describers of the untold number of new organisms flooding into Europe at the time, the major credit for Plumier's contributions to botany and zoology was given to others. Born at Marseille in 1646, Plumier was initially trained at the Convent of the Minims in mathematics and the physical sciences, but soon turned his attention to natural history, taking on the study of botany with great enthusiasm. He so impressed his superiors as a botanist, as well as through his extraordinary talents as an illustrator and engraver, that in 1689 he was appointed naturalist on an expedition to the French possessions in the Antilles for the purpose of collecting objects of natural history. The great success of this voyage, followed by two additional expeditions to the West Indies, provided a life-long pension, and earned him the title of “Botaniste du Roy.” Often ill and always anxious about the publication of his work, Plumier spent the last years of his life in his cell at the Minim Convent La Place Royale in Paris compiling his notes and drawings and preparing manuscripts for the press. While on his way to Peru to discover the tree that produces quinine, he suffered a sudden attack of pleurisy and died on 20 November 1704 at the age of 58. Plumier’s legacy survives in an enormous body of iconographic material still extant in the collections of the Bibliothèque Centrale du Museum national d’Histoire naturelle in Paris. While his botanical contributions have been described in some detail and many of his plant drawings have been published, his influence on zoology has been relatively unexplored and his animal drawings remain largely unpublished until now. This volume, the first of a series of monographs planned for the near future, designed to bring Plumier’s extraordinary work to light, imparts life to images that have been essentially lost from public view for more than three centuries.

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fish

Cuvier’s History of the Natural Sciences : Nineteen lessons from the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries

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ISBN: 9782856538739 DOI: 10.4000/books.mnhn.2761 Language: English
Publisher: Publications scientifiques du Muséum
Subject: Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2019-12-06 13:15:38
License: OpenEdition Licence for Books

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Here, for the first time in English, is Georges Cuvier’s extraordinary “History of the Natural Sciences from Its Origin to the Present Day.” Based on a series of public lectures presented by Cuvier from 1829 to 1832, this first of a five-volume series, translated from the original French and heavily annotated with commentary, is a detailed chronological survey of the natural sciences spanning more than three millennia. It is truly astonishing in its detail and scope. Cuvier was fluent in many languages, English, German, Spanish, and certainly Latin, in addition to French. He was therefore well prepared to investigate and interpret firsthand the scientific literature of Europe as a whole. The work is an affirmation of Cuvier’s vast encyclopedic knowledge, his complete command of the scientific and historical literature, and his incomparable memory. This history is remarkable also for providing in one place a large set of useful references to a vast ancient literature that is not easily found anywhere else. This huge body of information provides us furthermore with unique insight into Cuvier’s concept of the natural sciences, and to the vast breadth and progress of this human endeavor. With this work, Cuvier fills an important gap in philosophical thought between the time of Carl Linnaeus and Charles Darwin.

Cuvier’s History of the Natural Sciences : Twenty-four lessons from Antiquity to the Renaissance

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ISBN: 9782856538678 DOI: 10.4000/books.mnhn.3643 Language: English
Publisher: Publications scientifiques du Muséum
Subject: Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2019-12-06 13:15:38
License: OpenEdition Licence for Books

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Abstract

Here, for the first time in English, is Georges Cuvier’s extraordinary “History of the Natural Sciences from Its Origin to the Present Day.” Based on a series of public lectures presented by Cuvier from 1829 to 1832, this first of a five-volume series, translated from the original French and heavily annotated with commentary, is a detailed chronological survey of the natural sciences spanning more than three millennia. It is truly astonishing in its detail and scope. Cuvier was fluent in many languages, English, German, Spanish, and certainly Latin, in addition to French. He was therefore well prepared to investigate and interpret firsthand the scientific literature of Europe as a whole. The work is an affirmation of Cuvier’s vast encyclopedic knowledge, his complete command of the scientific and historical literature, and his incomparable memory. This history is remarkable also for providing in one place a large set of useful references to a vast ancient literature that is not easily found anywhere else. This huge body of information provides us furthermore with unique insight into Cuvier’s concept of the natural sciences, and to the vast breadth and progress of this human endeavor. With this work, Cuvier fills an important gap in philosophical thought between the time of Carl Linnaeus and Charles Darwin.

Les Planches inédites de poissons et autres animaux marins de l’Indo-Ouest Pacifique d’Isaac Johannes Lamotius

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ISBN: 9782856539019 DOI: 10.4000/books.mnhn.4848 Language: French
Publisher: Publications scientifiques du Muséum
Subject: Social Sciences
Added to DOAB on : 2019-12-06 13:15:38
License: OpenEdition Licence for Books

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Les archives des bibliothèques et des muséums à travers le monde sont pleines de trésors peu visibles et sous-évalués mais peu d’objets sont aussi délicats et inconnus que les peintures de poissons et invertébrés réalisées à la fin du xviie siècle par Isaac Johannes Lamotius sur la minuscule île Maurice dans l’océan Indien et aux Moluques. Seul et coupé de la vie intellectuelle hollandaise de l’époque, accablé par la tâche quasi impossible de gouverner une petite mais indisciplinée communauté de colons hollandais, Lamotius se consola en étudiant la faune et la flore alors inconnues de l’île. Durant son mandat et quelque temps après quand il fut exilé sur l’île de Rosengain dans l’archipel de Banda, il consacra ses temps libres à dessiner et peindre des animaux aquatiques, en particulier des poissons marins. Bien qu’il en produisit sans doute beaucoup plus, il ne reste plus aujourd’hui qu’un jeu de 250 planches en couleurs dont la totalité est reproduite pour la première fois dans le présent volume. Les planches révélées ici, conservées dans le fonds de la Bibliothèque centrale du Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle de Paris, ont été dévoilées par Georges Cuvier au début du XIXe siècle. Ce n’est qu’en 1959 que l’un des auteurs, procédant à une étude comparative détaillée de ces planches et d’autres jeux d’illustrations semblables sur lesquels s’appuyaient de nombreuses publications d’histoire naturelle du XVIIIe siècle, les identifia comme réalisées par Lamotius. Ces dessins sont largement supérieurs à tout ce qui se faisait à la même époque. Ils fournissent la première preuve de l’existence de beaucoup des espèces figurées, avec des données sur leur collecte ; la fidélité scientifique est telle que presque toutes ces espèces peuvent être aisément identifiées. Ensemble, ces planches constituent la description la plus ancienne connue de la faune marine de l’île Maurice et, en cela, une des plus anciennes études des poissons et invertébrés marins de tout l’Indo-Ouest Pacifique. Accompagnées de commentaires scientifiques et historiques, ces images renaissent après avoir été perdues de vue par le public durant plus de trois siècles.

Keywords

fish

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