Edouard TRAVIES

(Doullens 1809 - Paris 1876)

A Mexican Parrotlet (Forpus cyanopygius) and a Painted Conure (Pyrrhura picta)

Watercolour, pen and brown ink and wash, with framing lines in pencil. 
Signed and dated Edouard Travies pt. 1834. in the lower margin.
170 x 100 cm. (6 3/4 x 4 in.)
The small, vibrant green bird depicted at the top of the sheet is a Mexican parrotlet, also known as the turquoise-rumped parrotlet or the Mexican blue-rumped parrotlet. Native to northwestern Mexico, the Mexican parrotlet inhabits a variety of open and lightly forested areas up to an elevation of around 1,300 metres. They have a diet which consists of grasses, seeds, and flowers and can often be found in flocks foraging for food. When in the air, they are known to fly low and swift in tight formations.

The painted conure resides in northern South America, with a range that extends just south of the Rio Orinoco in Venezuela through the Guianas and into northeastern Brazil. The smallest member of the parrot family, the painted conure inhabits wooded areas at elevations of up to 1,200 metres. Here they feed and rest in the foliage of the upper stages of the canopy in which they are well camouflaged by their plumage, often only detectible by their call. 

This drawing was once part of the collection of French ornithological watercolours of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries assembled in the 1920s and 1930s by the French industrialist and bibliophile Marcel Jeanson (1885-1942). 
 
Among the finest natural history draughtsmen of the 19th century in France, Edouard Traviès de Villers was a gifted watercolourist and illustrator, and exhibited at the Paris Salons between 1831 and 1866. Best known for his ornithological watercolours, his activity in this field culminated in seventy-nine magnificent illustrations for his book Les oiseaux les plus remarquables par leurs forms et leurs couleurs, published in Paris and London in 1857. Traviès also illustrated other works of natural history, such as Types du règne animal: Buffon en estampes; a work intended for children that appeared in 1864. Traviès was further known for his paintings and watercolours of dead game, depicted hanging from a nail on a wall in a sort of trompe-l’oeil effect; indeed, he was one of the first 19th century French artists to develop this theme, which had been established in the previous century by such artists as Jean-Baptiste Oudry. These watercolours by Edouard Traviès were once part of the exceptional collection of French ornithological watercolours of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries assembled in the 1920s and 1930s by the French industrialist and bibliophile Marcel Jeanson (1885-1942). Several of these watercolours were used to illustrate Achille Richard’s Oeuvres complètes de Buffon, published in Paris in 1834, 1838 and 1845.

Provenance

Marcel Jeanson, Paris
Thence by descent until 1988
Jeanson sale, Monaco, Sotheby’s, 16 June 1988
Richard J. Schwartz, Upper Nyack, New York and Lyford Cay, Bahamas
Thence by descent until 2017.
 

Additional Works

 

Edouard TRAVIES

A Mexican Parrotlet (Forpus cyanopygius) and a Painted Conure (Pyrrhura picta)