- Title: L'Ara noir à Trompe
- Author: Jacques Barraband
- Date: 1801-05
- Medium: Hand-finished stipple engraving
- Condition: Very Good
- Inches: 12.75 x 20.5 [Image]
- Centimeters: 32.4 x 51.4 [Image]
- Product ID: 262009
"The Black-Billed Macaw"
These incredible parrot prints come from the first edition, large paper copy of the very famous work by Francois Levailant entitled Histoire naturelle des Perroquets. Published in Paris between 1801 and 1805, this work is now known as one of the finest bird-books of all time.
Perroquets gained its fame primarily through its highly talented artist, Jacques Barraband. Barraband drew the original drawings for the work which contain such fine detail and marvelous beauty that it is difficult to tell the print is not the real bird itself. The parrot's eyes seem to stare at you while the feathers seem real to the touch. Another amazing aspect of the plates is that they are primarily printed in color - a remarkable feat for the early 1800s.
The French master Langlois developed a superb technique to print in color called "a la poupee." After the printing process was complete, each plate was carefully highlighted by hand. In addition to working with Barraband, Langlois was also responsible for helping to produce many of Redoute's famous works.
"After he had made himself Emperor, it was part of Napoleon's deliberate policy to initiate a series of magnificent publications that would vie with those undertaken to the orders of Louis XIV. These were sent as presents to crowned heads, men of science, and learned bodies, in evidence of the splendors of the Empire. In this manner, many glorious books came into being, and it is in this light that we should see Redoute's Les Liliacees and his two works on the flowers Histoire naturelle des Perroquets is, unwittingly, a part of the glories of Napoleonic France" (Fine Bird Books, p.11). Each plate was drawn by Barraband, engraved by Bouquet, and printed by Langlois.