Jean-Gabriel Prêtre

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Jean-Gabriel Prêtre (20 December 1768 – 29 April 1849) was a Swiss-French natural history painter who illustrated birds, mammals and reptiles in a large number of books. Several species of animal were named after him.


Prêtre was born in Geneva. His father Jean-Louis Prêtre married Judith Renauld on 28 December 1767 in the church of Saint Germain. From their marriage the children Pernette Marguerite, Jean-Gabriel and Marie were born.[a]

He worked as a natural history illustrator, first for Empress Josephine's zoo, and then for the Natural History Museum in Paris. He illustrated many books of animals and birds, and had several species named after him.[1][2]

Species named after Prêtre[edit]

A species of worm lizard, Amphisbaena pretrei, is named in his honor.[3]



  1. ^ When he was baptised at the age of two in the Madeleine Church in Geneva, he was initially carried into the parish register under the name Jean Gabriel Praite. This error was corrected on 17 May 1794.


  1. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2014). The Eponym Dictionary of Birds. Bloomsbury. p. 1014. ISBN 978-1-4729-0574-1.
  2. ^ "Jean Gabriel Pretre (1780~1845) was painter of natural history at Empress Josephine's zoo and later became artist to the Museum of Natural History". Natural History Museum, London. Archived from the original on 9 May 2016. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  3. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. ("Pretre", p. 211).