Audubert: Sphinx Mandrill


Jean-Baptiste Audebert.  “Le Papion.  Simia Sphix.”  From Histoire Naturelle des Singes.  Paris: 1797-1800.  Platemark ca. 17 x 10.  Stipple engraving, colored á la poupée and finished by hand.  Very good condition.

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From a landmark of both printing history and natural history, this series of prints of Old World and New World monkeys and lemurs represents the considerable skill of French illustrator Jean-Baptiste Audebert (1759-1800).  After collaborating on other illustrators’ projects, Audebert produced drawings and prints for Histoire Naturelle des Singes, his first independent work.  An early pioneer of the color printing technique á la poupée, he was also adept at zoological observation.  Indeed, his firsthand sketches of various primate species enabled him to make these striking, lifelike prints.  Sold in ten parts to subscribers, the series has been ranked among the best of natural history illustrations.  With their lifelike aspect and elegant presentation, Audebert’s monkeys are still an attractive choice for collectors today.