|Method||Copper engraving with original hand colouring|
|Artist||Mesnil after Benoît Louis Henriquez|
|Published||[Saillant & Desaint, Paris 1768]|
|Dimensions||Image 223 x 186 mm, Plate 260 x 216 mm, Sheet 330 x 255 mm|
A sheet showing five different varieties of pears. Illustration to Henri Louis Duhamel du Monceau's "Traite des Arbres Fruitiers", published by Saillant & Desaint, Paris 1768.
From Henri Louis Duhamel Du Morceau's Traite des Arbres Fruitiers, (Dissertation on fruit trees) first published in Paris by Saillant & Desaint in 1768. Henri Louis Duhamel du Monceau (1700-1782) was an important 18th century French botanist who researched fruit- and plant physiology in an agricultural context. In his Traite des Arbres Fruitiers he describes sixteen different types of fruit namely almonds, apricots, barberries, cherries, quinces, figs, strawberries, gooseberries, apples, medlars, mulberries, pears, peaches, plums, grapes and raspberries. These descriptions are accompanied by an illustration showing the plant's seed, foliage, flowers and fruit. As it was Du Morceau's intention to promote the planting of fruit trees on farms and in gardens, he also describes different methods of pruning and grafting these fruit trees.
The pear was Henri Louis Duhamel Du Morceau's favorite fruit. He published Anatomie de la Poire (Anatomy of the pear) in c. 1730 and in his Traite des Arbres Fruitiers, pears and pear trees are described and illustrated more than any other fruit.
Benoît Louis Henriquez (1732-1806) was a French engraver, but nothing else is known about his life.