Jean-Gabriel Prêtre (1768-1849)

Jean-Gabriel Prêtre was a Swiss-French painter of natural history who worked in Empress Josephine’s zoo and then for the Paris Natural History Museum. He worked on several volumes of the Dictionnaire des sciences naturelles, which was published in volumes between 1816 and 1845. His work covered a wide range of flora and fauna including the seahorse featured on our Seahorse illustration spectacles pouch. Unfortunately, I have not yet tracked down a portrait of Jean-Gabriel. As was common, he did not sign the illustrations for these volumes, although his work is acknowledged on the plates with the text “Pretre pinxt” (in other words, “painted by Pretre”).

See all our designs based on his artwork.

See also

Biographical article by Chris Wright of Curiosity Wave, published 22 August 2018.