|Method||Copper engraved with hand colour|
|Artist||Le Bas, Jacques-Philippe|
|Dimensions||280 x 285 mm each|
A wonderfully detailed pair of celestial maps, showing the constellations of the northern and southern hemispheres, with hand coloured allegorical figures and stars picked out in gold, from an English translation of Pluche's Spectacle de la Nature, a great work dedicated to nature, man and his activities. The work concerned astronomy in its broadest sense, describing the earth, visible phenomena in the sky and man's astronomical discoveries. Pluche's book was enormously successful, running to at least fifty seven editions in France, and seventeen in England. The English editions were published between 1736 and 1748.
Jacques-Philippe Le Bas or Lebas (8 July 1707 - 14 April 1783) was a French engraver to the Cabinet du roi and successfully produced engravings after several paintings by different artists. His oeuvre amounts to more than 500 works, including many large portraits after Vernet, and several works after van de Velde, Parrocel, Berchem, Ruysdaël, Watteau, Oudry and Lancret. He trained the line engraver François-Anne David.
Noel-Antoine Pluche (1688 - 1761), known as the abbe Pluche, was a French priest. He is now best known for his Spectacle de la nature, a very popular work of natural history. It was published in 1732, and widely translated all over Europe. Although it influenced many to become naturalists, it was a work of popularisation, not of science. Explicitly didactic, it assembled the essential scientific knowledge of the time in the realms of natural history, physics, astronomy and botany.
Condition: Each hemisphere composed on two sheets joined horizontally at centre. Some puckering and creasing to joins. Folds as issued. Binders holes along right margins of sheets.