Pierre André Latreille

Size: 9 x 12 inches - Original Hand Colored Copperplate Engravings

These beautiful hand color engravings have been selected from a French work entitled "Encyclopedie Methodique", published in Paris between 1789 and 1832 under the supervision of Panckoucke.

The Encyclopédie méthodique par ordre des matières ("Methodical Encyclopedia by Order of Subject Matter") is a roughly 210 to 216 volumes encyclopedia (different sets were bound differently) that was published between 1782 and 1832 by the French publisher Charles Joseph Panckoucke his son-in-law Henri Agasse, and the latter´s wife, Thérèse-Charlotte Agasse. It was a revised and much expanded version, arranged by disciplines, of the originally alphabetically arranged Encyclopédie edited by denis Diderot and Jean Le Rond D'Alembert. The full title was L'Encyclopédie méthodique ou par ordre de matières par une société de gens de lettres, de savants et d'artistes; précédée d'un vocabulaire universel, servant de table pour tout l'ouvrage, ornée des portraits de MM. Diderot et d'Alembert, premiers éditeurs de l'Encyclopédie.
Pierre André Latreille (November 20, 1762 - February 6, 1833) was a French entomologist. His works describing insects assigned many of the insect taxa still in use today.

Latreille was born into a humble family of Brive-la-Gaillarde, Corrèze, and in 1778 entered the College Lemoine in Paris. He was ordained a priest in 1786 and then went back to Brive, where he spent all of his free time studying insects. In 1788 he returned to Paris and became active in the scientific community there, his Mémoire sur les mutilles découvertes en France gaining him admission to the Society for Natural History.

As a priest with conservative leanings, the French Revolution made his situation uncomfortable; he left Paris, and was later imprisoned at Bordeaux. In 1796 he published Précis des caractères génériques des insectes, disposés dans un ordre naturel at Brive. He was rearrested in 1797 but again released.

In 1798 he was given the task of arranging the entomological collection at the recently organized Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris; in 1814 he became a member of the French Academy of Sciences (succeeding G. A. Olivier), and in 1821 he was made a chevalier of the Legion of Honor. He was professor of zoology in the veterinary school at Alfort near Paris, and in 1830, when the chair of zoology of invertebrates at the Museum was divided after the death of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, Latreille was appointed professor of zoology of crustaceans, arachnids and insects, the chair of molluscs, worms and zoophytes being assigned to Henri Marie Ducrotay de Blainville. The crab genus Latreillia (family Latreilliidae) is named in his honour.

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