|Method||Copper engraving with hand colouring|
|Artist||Johann Friedrich Volckart after Jacques de Seve|
|Published||Wolfgang Walther, Erlangen, Germany, c.1775.|
|Dimensions||Image and plate 230 x 180 mm|
Plate from 'Die Saugthiere in Abbildungen nach der Natur mit Beschreibungen' 'Animal Illustrations after Nature', or 'Schreber's "Fantastic Animals"' by Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber.
Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber (1739-1810) was a German physician and naturalist. He studied botany with the famous Swedish taxonomist, Carl Linnaeus. From then on, his interest in medicine & botany ran parallel courses, with both an appointment as professor of medicine at University of Erlangen & an appointment as the director of the Erlanger Botanical Gardens & Natural History Museum. Schreber was knighted in 1791.
In 1774, he began what was to be his masterpiece, a work on the mammals of the world, using the taxonomic system of Linnaeus 'Die Saugthiere in Abbildungen nach der Natur mit Beschreibungen' 'Animal Illustrations after Nature', or 'Schreber's Fantastic Animals' published by Wolfgang Walther, Erlangen: 1775-1792. It was illustrated, containing 755 coloured prints of mammals of the world. For the most the artists, who included such luminaries of the day as George Edwards & De Seve, worked from descriptions of the animals by others who had seen them, rather than actual specimens. The resulting images were sometimes more than a little inaccurate, hence the title of Schreber's "Fantastic Beasts", this charming naiveté making these rare prints highly prized by collectors.
Jacques de Sève (Active 1742 –1788) was a French artist and illustrator.
De Sève was commissioned by Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon to provide the illustrations for Histoire naturelle, générale et particulière (1749-1778, in 36 volumes) and then Buffon's Recueil de Vingtquatre Plantes et Fleurs (1772). He also illustrated work by Duhamel du Monceau, Claude Perrault and parts of Encyclopédie Méthodique.