The Old Print Shop

Pierre Jean Francois Turpin


Pierre Turpin (1775-1840), who has been hailed as possibly the finest French natural botanical artist of his period, came from humble beginnings. He was the son of a poor artisan and learned the elements of drawing at the art school at Vire before enlisting in the batallion du Calvados at the age of fourteen. He and Poiteau met in Santo Domingo where Turpin was stationed with the French Army. The friendship developed into an artistic collaboration which provided illustrations for some of the most elaborate botanical publications of the period including several of the botanical volumes depicting the discoveries made by Friedrich Alexander von Humboldt and Aimé Bonpland in the course of their exploration of Central and South America from 1799 to 1804.