Jacques-Gérard Milbert

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Jacques-Gérard Milbert, painted by Jean-Sébastien Rouillard (1831)

Jacques-Gérard Milbert (18 November 1766 – 5 June 1840) was a French naturalist and artist.

Milbert was a pupil of the landscape painter Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes,[1][2] and went on to teach drawing at the Parisian school of mines[2] – the École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris – from 1795.[3]

In 1800, Milbert embarked on Nicolas Baudin's voyage to Australia.[2] During the voyage, Milbert and several other artists became ill,[2] and the artists and the captain came into conflict.[1] This caused several artists, including Milbert, to leave the voyage at Mauritius, leaving Charles-Alexandre Lesueur to produce the voyage's scientific drawings.[1] Milbert returned to France, where in 1812 he published a series of views of Mauritius, the Cape Colony and Tenerife, titled Voyage pittoresque à l'Ile de France, au Cap de Bonne Espérence et à l'Ile de Ténériffe,[1][2] comprising two octavo volumes of text, and one quarto volume of plates.[2]

In 1815, Milbert travelled to the United States, where he would remain for eight years, based in New York City, teaching, and travelling extensively in the northeastern United States.[2] During his time there, he sent back 48 shipments of natural history specimens to the Muséum national d'histoire naturelle in Paris.[2]

Milbert returned to France on 20 October 1823, and began teaching, again at the school of mines.[2] He published several further volumes, including drawings from his travels in the United States. He died on 5 June 1840.[2]

Milbert was awarded the Légion d'honneur and, after a campaign by scientists who had received his specimens, the government agreed to pay Milbert's widow a pension.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d Claudio Greppi (2005). ""On the Spot": traveling artists and the iconographic inventory of the world 1769–1859". In Felix Driver; Luciana Martins (eds.). Tropical Visions in an Age of Empire. University of Chicago Press. pp. 23–42. ISBN 978-0-226-16472-4.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Philip J. Weimerskirch (1998). "Two great illustrated books about the Hudson River: William Guy Wall's Hudson River Port Folio and Jacques Gérard Milbert's Itinéraire pittoresque du fleuve Hudson". In Caroline Mastin Welsh (ed.). Adirondack Prints and Printmakers: the Call of the Wild. Syracuse University Press. pp. 25–44. ISBN 978-0-8156-0519-5.
  3. ^ Harry Liebersohn (2001). "Critics and nostalgics". Aristocratic Encounters: European Travelers and North American Indians. Cambridge University Press. pp. 63–91. ISBN 978-0-521-00360-5.

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