La Chauve-Souris Musaraigne, c. 1770, Buffon
La Chauve-Souris Musaraigne, Buffon's Histoire naturelle, c. 1770
This stunning hand-colored copper engraving depicts two bats, one crawling and the other flying in an eerie night landscape. Although written for a natural history publication, this engraving evokes a vampire lore that grew stronger in the 18th century.
While eastern Europeans living in small villages began to report vampire attacks, a fascination with the mythological creatures sparked an interest amongst curious commoners, intrigued scholars, and concerned nobleman alike. Such reports also sparked an interest in vampiric literature with many authors referencing blood-sucking demon-like human-bat hybrids in their poetry. Here, we see the everyday creatures - which can be found around the world - in an almost grave-like site bathed in the supernatural glow of the moonlight.
Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, (1707-1788) was a French naturalist and mathematician who had a profound effect on science. His work influenced the next two generations of naturalists and he was one of the most widely read authors of the day. He was the director of the Jardin du Roi, which is now the Jardin des Plantes, and was instrumental in transforming it into a research facility and museum. Buffon's great masterpiece is Histoire naturelle, which consisted of thirty-six volumes published from 1749 until 1788.
- Onastasia Youssef
Plate size: 3" x 5"
Sheet size: 6.5" x 4"
Condition: Some minor foxing outside of the plate, but otherwise in excellent condition.