Saverio Manetti

Group of 6 Colored Etchings of Birds 1770s



Engraving, Etching


A group of six originally hand-colored engraving from Saverio Manetti's work "Storia naturale degli Uccelli" or "A Natural History of Birds". The prints were drawn and etched by Violante Vanni and Lorenzo Lorenzi with the text penned by Saverio Manetti. The work was published in Florence, Italy between 1767 and 1776 by F. Mouck, C. Cambiagi, and Giuseppe Vanni. --- "Storia naturale degli Uccelli" was 'larger, better engraved and more vividly coloured than any previous book on birds', notable for its lively posturing of the specimens which seem to reflect 'the habits and mannerisms of contemporary Italian society'. It is "one of the half-dozen or so Great Bird Books in the collector's sense" --- Each bird engraving shows remarkable personality and detail, many of the birds often taking on an almost human personality type. Manetti drew his work predominantly from real specimens. The work was one of the largest ornithology undertakings to that point in time. --- This beautiful plate comes from "Storia naturale degli uccelli", of which Peter Dance writes "The production of its five massive folio volumes must have been one of the most remarkable publishing ventures ever undertaken in Florence. Begun in 1767, and [based on birds taken from the collection of Giovanni Gerini], it was completed ten years later.

Artist Biography

Francesco Saverio Manetti was an Italian physician, botanist and ornithologist who served as president of the Botanical Society of Florence, as well director of the Florentine Botanical Gardens. The artists-engravers Lorenzo Lorenzi and Violante Vanni created over 600 illustrations for the book.

Available Etchings

#531 DXXXI #155 CLV #273 CCLXXIII #276 CCLXVI #529 DXXIX #147 CXLVII

Dimensions With Frame

H 20.375 in. x W 17.375 in. x D 1 in.

Dimensions Without Frame

H 14 in. x W 11.25 in.
Group of 6 Colored Etchings of Birds 1770s