|Artist||Isaac Taylor after George Stubbs|
|Dimensions||Image 125 x 80 mm, Sheet 210 x 130 mm|
A finely engraved plate from the fourth volume of an English translation of Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon's major work, Histoire Naturelle Generale et Particuliere Avec la Description du Cabinet du Roi.
Histoire Naturelle was published in 36 volumes between 1749 and 1789 with further volumes issued after the death of the author. One of the most widely read authors of his time Buffon is credited with being the first to discuss many evolutionary problems. Despite this he was not himself an evolutionist, considering and subsequently rejecting the possibility of humans and apes having a common ancestor.
George Stubbs (1724-1806) was a painter and anatomist. A superb animal painter and a penetrating portraitist, Stubbs is best known for his Anatomy of a Horse, 1766, a series of magnificent engravings based on the dissections he carried out in a remote village in Lincolnshire. A friend of Josiah Wedgwood, Stubbs experimented with painting on alternative surfaces, including copper, porcelain and a Wedgwood plaque.
Isaac Taylor (1730-1807) was an English engraver. Born in Worcester, he moved to London in around 1752. He worked at a silversmith's before working for the cartographer Thomas Jefferys. He married Jefferys' niece Sarah in 1754. He produced a number of plates for the Gentleman's Magazine, William Owen Pughe's Dictionary and Andrew Tooke's Pantheon. In 1765, Taylor was admitted a fellow of the Society of Artists, and in 1774 was appointed secretary. Between 1770 and 1776 Taylor moved between premises in Holborn and Chancery Lane. His friends included Thomas Bewick, David Garrick, Oliver Goldsmith, Francesco Bartolozzi, Richard Smirke, and Henry Fuseli. In 1780 Taylor retired to Edmonton where he died in 1807.
Condition: Some time toning to sheet edges, binding holes to left margin.