James de Carle Sowerby (1787-1871)
Radiated Tortoise (Testudo radiata), c.1830.
Watercolour on paper, 265 x 342 mm.
This drawing was first published in A Monograph of the
Testudinata (1832-36), which is the earliest and most
comprehensive accounts of the tortoises, terrapins and turtles
of the world.
Although Thomas Bell was the main author, the book owes its
enduring reputation to no less than four people - two artists
namely James de Carle Sowerby (1787-1871) and Edward Lear
(1812-1888), John Edward Gray (1800-1875) a zoologist at the
British Museum and Bell himself.