Charles d’Orbigny

Dictionnaire Universel d’Histoire Naturelle



Charles Henry Dessalines d’Orbigny was younger brother to the great naturalist and explorer Alcide Dessalines d’Orbigny. Like his brother, Charles had a great interest in Nature and the species being found in newly discovered parts of the world.

d’Orbigny studied medicine and went on to work at the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle providing further identification and categorisation of the species his brother was sending back to France, with a particular interest in Botany and Geology. He succeeded the geologist Louis Cordier in 1834 and continued to work at the museum until failing health forced him to retire 30 years later.

d’Orbigny’s monumental Dictionnaire Universel d’Histoire Naturelle is considered one of the great 19th century encyclopaedias of Natural History with fine, hand coloured plates by some of the most accomplished artists of that period.

Below are a few examples from this collection. Please click on an image to see it in high-resolution with details of the work itself. For the full list of original antique d’Orbigny lithographs available,  please do contact us.