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Natural History Art, Botanical, Tropical, Tree, Papaya, Buchoz, Antique Print, 18th Century


Pierre Joseph Buchoz (1731-1807) (author)
Mme. de St. Suire, Duchesne, Mme. Pinard, Femme Fessard et al. (after)
Dupin fil., Claude Matthieu Fessard, Breant, Vincenzo Vangelisti et al. (engravers)
Papaya, Decad 6, Pl. II
from Histoire Universelle du Règne Végétal, ou nouveau dictionnaire physique et economique de toutes les plantes qui croissent sur la surface du globe, Vol. 1-3
[Universal History of the Plant Kingdom, or New Physical and Economic Dictionary of All the Plants that Cross the Earth’s Surface]

Paris: [1774-]1775-80
Hand-colored engraving
12.75 x 15.75 inches, plate mark
14.2 x 21 inches, overall

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Botanical study of the papaya tree (Carica papaya) combining scientific accuracy and a sophisticated aesthetic sense with an artistic arrangement highlighting shapes and textural features. The creative composition incorporates a great deal of visual information: two papaya trees, one flowering and one at a later stage with ripening fruit, and details of the flowers, a leaf, a fruit bud, a whole ripe papaya and a cross-section of one.

Product Description Continues Below


This is a double-sized plate from what is generally considered to be Buchoz’s greatest and most botanically significant work, an encyclopedic collection of 1,200 engravings of plants, issued in 25 parts in the 1770s. The plates were derived from many sources, including the drawings in the Collection des Vélins in the Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris; many of those engravings were the first and only published form of these drawings.

Pierre Joseph Buchoz (also spelled Buc’hoz), was a French physician and naturalist as well as an extremely prolific author of natural history books in the latter half of the 18th century, with a particular emphasis on copiously illustrated sets of botanicals. Born in Metz, he served at various times as physician to the King of Poland, the brother of the King of France, and the Duke of Artois. Buchoz was a member of academies in France and Europe and his monumental Histoire Universelle du Règne Végétal ([1774-]1775-1780) — with 1,200 botanical engravings — earned the approval of the Academy of Science. Some of the plates in his works were apparently derived from those in works by others (such as de Sève) and Buchoz also managed to be so prolific because he often adapted text and material between and among his own works. Nonetheless, the overall quality of his prints is comparable to the best European and English natural history works of the same period in their great attention to composition and scientific detail, and in the quality of the engraving and coloring. Indeed, Buchoz also had the distinction of producing the first European florilegium in which a large number of the images were of flowers grown in Chinese gardens, and which widely incorporated the so called “Chinoiserie” style, in Collection Précieuse et Enluminée des Fleurs les Plus Belles et les Plus Curieuses (1776-79).

Full title: Carica Papaya linn. Sp. plant. 1466. Papaya foemina, seu parumpa Rumph. 1.p.149.T.50. Papaya.

Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light toning and wear.  Central vertical fold as issued, now professionally flattened.


Blunt, Wilfred, rev. by Stearn, William T.The Art of Botanical Illustration. Woodbridge, Suffolk, England: Antique Collectors Club, 1994. pp. 175, 178-9.

Brunet, Jacques-Charles. Manuel du Libraire et de l’Amateur de Livres. Berlin: Josef Altmann, 1922 (reprint). 1.1371

“Buchoz, Pierre-Joseph.”Fonds Patrimonial du SCD de l’Université Rennes 2. (28 January 2004).

Buchoz, Pierre Joseph.Histoire Universelle du Règne Végétal.Online at:Biodiversity Heritage Library. (7 November 2014).

Dunthorne, Gordon. Flower and Fruit Prints of the 18th and Early 19th Centuries. Their History, Makers and Uses, with a Catalogue Raisonne of the Works in Which They are Found. Washington, D.C.: Published by the Author, 1938. 59.

Johnston, Stanley H. Jr. The Cleveland Herbal Botanical, and Horticultural Collections. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1992. 524. Online at Google Books: (7 November 2014).

Nissen, Claus. Die Botanische Buchillustration: ihre Geschichte und Bibliographie. Stuttgart: 1951-66. 287.

Pritzel, Georg August. Thesaurus Literaturae Botanicae Omnium Gentium. Milan: 1950. 1325.

Additional information


19th Century