Barraband was a renown ornithological artist and considered the greatest of his time.
Little is known of his life other than that he was born in C1767, the son of a weaver who worked at the Aubusson Factory. He is first mentioned as a pupil of Joseph Malaine (1745-1809, the eminent flowers painter under King Louis XVI), and is known to have worked for the Gobelin Factory and later for the famous porcelain Factory at Sèvres. He executed decorative cycles after designs by Percier and Fontaine, most notably for the dining room commissioned by Emperor Napoleon for the Château de Saint-Cloud. His greatest works were the more than 300 drawings in watercolour and gouache that he executed to illustrate François Levaillant’s monumental works of Natural History, the Histoire naturelle des Perroquets, the Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux de Paradis and the Histoire Naturelle des Promérops where he achieved a level of scientific accuracy that has rarely been surpassed.
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