About Mark Catesby
Address and work: North America
Catesby was an English naturalist who collected plants and animals in North America. Catesby made two trips to America, spending the years 1712 to 1719 with relatives in Virginia and on the second trip, 1722-1725, traveling through the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida and also the Bahamas before his return to England in 1726. The result of his travels in America was “Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands (London 1731- 1743), for which Catesby etched upward of 100 plates, the first set of which he colored himself. In recognition of his scientific work Catesby was elected to the Royal Society in 1733. The original paintings for his book are in the Royal Library at Windsor and a copy of the book is in the Rare Book Room, Library of Congress.“The Purple Farbe Dohle” was originally drawn by Catesby and it was engraved by I.M. Seligmann. Seligmann was a German engraver who published a compilation of images from Catesby and George Edwards in 1743. Seligmann altered Catesby’s original image by adding grass underneath the bird and trees in the background.