This originally hand-colored engraving is from Georges Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon’s De Algemeene en Byzondere Natuurlyke Historie. The work was published in 1783 in Amsterdam by F. H. Schneider.
Buffon’s work became one of the most informative sources as far as the visual appearance of animals, and was highly understandable for a wide audience. Buffon described his work and love for natural history by stating that, “Natural history embraces all the objects the universe presents to us. This prodigious multitude of quadrupeds, birds, fish, insects, plants, minerals, etc., offers to the curiosity of the human mind a vast spectacle, of which the whole is so great that the details are inexhaustible.”