JACQUES BARRABAND (Aubusson 1768-1809 Lyon)
A glossy black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus lathami)
signed twice ‘Barraband.’ (lower left) and inscribed ‘A Monsieur Dufresne par l’auteur son ami.’ (on the mount)
black chalk, watercolor and bodycolor
2258 x 1612 in. (57.5 x 42 cm)
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Lot Essay

Jacques Barraband’s contribution to ornithological art can hardly be overstated. The artist is justly celebrated as the finest ornithological artist of his time and, in 1820, Henrich Kuhl commemorated Barraband’s scientific contribution by naming a newly discovered South American parrot ‘Barraband’s Parrot’ (Psittacus barrabandi). Drawings of flowers, insects and birds make up the greater part of Barraband’s graphic work. His most important achievement was undoubtedly the series of more than three hundred drawings in watercolor and gouache that he executed to illustrate François Levaillant’s monumental works of natural history, Histoire naturelle des perroquets (1801-1805), Histoire naturelle des oiseaux de paradis (1806), and Histoire naturelle des promérops (1807). The present sheet, given by the artist to a friend, depicts an almost extinct species, still found today in Eastern Australia.

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