François Louis Desfontaines Swebach (fl 1769)
[Drawing from the prospectus: Histoire naturelle
: ou, Exposition des Morceaux, les Mieux Choisis Pour Servir
á L'etude de la Mineralogie et de la Cristallographie],
Watercolour on paper, 365 x 298 mm.
Drawing minerals on paper presents the artist with particular
challenges. Scientific representations of a mineral specimen
require that the subtle colours, complex shape and texture
are accurately captured on paper.
Francois Louis Desfontaines Swebach, a French artist developed
such an ability. He contributed artwork to a famous eighteenth
century mineralogy book and planned to publish his own lavishly
illustrated mineral work. Unfortunately, the turmoil of the
French revolution halted the project. A mystery remains whether
or not Swebach became a victim of the revolutionary executions.