Work Number: 586 • Date of Printing: c. 1786 • Medium: Copperplate Engraving (hand colored) • Subject Category: Natural History - Fishes • Signed: Plate signed, Lower Left • Period Created: Enlightenment (1700 - 1799) • Plate Size HxWxD cm: 39 x 21 Leaf Paper Size HxW cm: 41 x 26 • Style: FOLIO Original Vintage • Print on Verso: Stamped indentation of Printer • Condition: Excellent • Edition Type: 1st Edition - Limited • Paper Type: Laid Paper
We are proud to have one of Marcus Elieser Bloch's exceptional fish prints, from "Ichthyologie, Ou Histoire Naturelle, Generale Et Particuliere, Des Poissons." Paris and Berlin, 1785-87. Ichthyologie is noted as “… the finest illustrated work on fishes ever produced. " The plates, by a variety of artists and engravers, are outstandingly hand-coloured, and are heightened with gold, silver, and bronze to produced the metallic sheen of fish scales.” (Nissen)
The work of Bloch is famous for the beauty of the fish portrayed and the superb hand coloring, and considered by many to be the greatest of all the works on ichthyology. These prints are in the folio size, on superb thick chain lined paper in a creamy color, with strong plate marks and good margins. Beautiful silver highlighting added by artist, still shimmers perfectly in the light.
The work is in very good to excellent condition overall. Occasionally the plate marks can be trimmed due to the size of the paper and can be common with this work. There may be some faint fox marks or minor imperfections to be expected with age. Please review the image carefully for condition and contact us with any questions.
A series of superb fish illustrations by Marcus Elieser Bloch (1723-99), a German physician from Berlin. Bloch was one of the earliest students of fish to publish a series of fish prints, and his work remained a primary source for the next century. His descriptions of German fishes was reliable and thorough, but his illustrations of foreign fishes were subject to many of the misconceptions that filtered through the great body of travel literature during the eighteenth century. Thus later viewers are presented with a range of pictures with exacting accuracy or enticing imagination. He issued folio and octavo prints, and the care taken in the drawing has caused David Knight in Zoological Illustration (p. 133) to call his work "one of the most sumptuous ever produced." Each specimen picture was engraved on a copper plate and then colored by hand with watercolors. An added and unusual advantage to these plates is the fact that they contain the names of each fish in several languages. A lovely and fascinating series.