The drawings of Antoine Nicolas Duchesne for his Natural History of the Gourds
Publications scientifiques du Muséum
Date de publication
Des planches et des mots

The drawings of Antoine Nicolas Duchesne for his Natural History of the Gourds

Publications scientifiques du Muséum

Des planches et des mots


  • AideEAN13 : 9782856539071
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Autre version disponible

For the first time, this book makes available to a wide readership, not only
to an educated audience, high-resolution reproductions of all the 258
paintings of gourds of the genus Cucurbita, figuring about a hundred
cultivars, kept at the Bibliothèque centrale of the Muséum national d’Histoire
naturelle, made in the 18th century by the talentuous Antoine Nicolas
Duchesne, of the Royal Garden in Versailles, a forerunner of genetics and
evolution. This book by Dr. Harry Paris, a leading expert of Cucurbitaceae, is
written both in English and French and is aimed at scientists (e.g.,
botanists, geneticists, agronomists, horticulturists, science historians) as
well as more general readers including gardeners, above all those very
numerous fond of cultivated plants, particularly of Cucurbitaceae. Its large
format (320 x 440 mm), the diversity and magnificence of its plates and the
beauty of its presentation will also attract bibliophiles. This volume is not
only the first publication to contain Duchesne’s naming and classification of
the three economically most important species of Cucurbita, it also contains
Duchesne’s summary of his investigations with this genus. The plates are
accompanied by reprinting of appropriate abstracts from Duchesne’s Essai sur
l’histoire naturelle des courges together with, by Harry Paris, commentaries
on the illustrations with an analysis of existing published and unpublished
documents concerning these plates. As for his work on strawberries, here once
again is stressed the unfailing tenaciousness and extraordinary sense of
observation of Antoine Nicolas Duchesne coupled with quite original and
premonitory evolutionary ideas.
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