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Born circa 1808, Jacques Burkhardt was Louis Agassizâs personal and principal artist. Having studied in Munich and Rome, the Swiss painter served as Agassizâs full-time artist in Neuchatel in the early 1840s. After Agassiz left for America, Burkhardt reunited with him in New York in 1847 and spent most of his career drawing under the MCZ founderâs supervision. Burkhardtâs turtle illustrations for Agassizâs quintessential work, Contributions to the Natural History of the United States (4 v., 1857-1862)âwidely considered the most elaborately produced American zoological publication of the eraâhelped establish Burkhardtâs reputation within the natural history community.
This collection consists of 536 watercolor and/or pencil drawings of fishes and miscellaneous vertebrates and invertebrates, together with the original color drawings ultimately adapted on stone by lithographer A. Sonrel (including Burkhardtâs classic turtle series) for Agassizâs Contributions.
For detailed information about a drawing, including transcriptions of annotations, select the "Full Records" option below. The drawings are held by the Ernst Mayr Library of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University.