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Jacques Barraband (1767/8–1809) was a distinguished French zoological and botanical illustrator, celebrated for his remarkably lifelike depictions of tropical birds. Born in Aubusson, France, Barraband's artistic journey began with a foundation in tapestry-making before pursuing art studies at l'Academie royale de peinture in Paris. He gained recognition for his illustrations during the French exposition of 1798, contributing to renowned carpet and porcelain manufacturers. Notably, he created a series of watercolors of exotic birds and flowers directly commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte from 1801 to 1804. Barraband's work was based on meticulously observed mounted specimens, earning him a reputation for producing the most accurate illustrations of his era.

Barraband's artistic legacy extends to his collaboration with prominent naturalists of his time, notably François Le Vaillant, illustrating significant scientific studies on parrots, birds of paradise, and various other avian species. His contributions included detailed works like "Histoire naturelle des perroquets," "Histoire naturelle des oiseaux de paradis et des rolliers," and "Histoire naturelle des promérops et des guêpiers," among others. Barraband's dedication to his craft and his exceptional skill led to him being chosen by Napoleon I to adorn the banquet hall at St. Cloud. In addition to his artistic pursuits, Barraband became a professor at the School of Arts et Dessin de Lyon in 1807 before his passing in 1809. His impact is further commemorated through a monument erected by his students in his memory at the Lyons cemetery.


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