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Jean Baptiste Francois Pierre Bulliard

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Jean Baptiste Francois Pierre Bulliard

France, (1742–September 1793)
Jean Baptiste François Pierre Bulliard lived from 1742 to 1793. Throughout his lifetime, Bulliard established himself as a key figure in the history of science, botany, and art. During his youth, Bulliard studied science in Langres, Clairvaux, and Paris. After the completion of his studies, he undertook the responsibility of tutoring the son of Claude Dupin, Fermier-Général of France.

Driven by his unmatched expertise and interest in botany, Bulliard succeeded in publishing many botanical works throughout his career. These include Flora Parisiensis (1776-1780), Herbier de la France (1780-1793), Dictionnaire élémentaire de botanique (1783), Histoire des plantes vénéneuses et suspectes de la France (1784), and Histoire des champignons de la France (1791-1812). His works systematically consolidated botanical terminology and contributed to the establishment of the Linnaean system of classification (kingdoms, orders, classes, etc.). Bulliard even discovered and named many of the most recognized and delicious mushrooms that are consumed today.

Bulliard was also a talented artist. He had studied drawing, engraving, and print production from François-Nicolas Martinet, a well-known engineer, engraver, and naturalist. Consequently, Bulliard’s publications were possibly the first botanical books to have been successfully printed in color, without the need of additional hand touch-ups. Today, these artistic botanical prints are shown in a diverse range of exhibitions, are traded through some of the world’s most famous auction houses, and are appreciated by scholars and art-lovers from around the world.

(Wendy Henry, CMC '09, Getty MUI Summer intern 2009)

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