Peter Paillou

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Painting of "Great Kingfisher" by Peter Paillou. Colour plate in A natural history of birds by George Edwards, 1740–50

Peter Paillou (c.1720 – c.1790) was a British artist best known for his paintings of birds, many of which were used as book illustrations.

Life and career[edit]

"The Heron" engraved by Peter Mazell in 1766 from painting by Peter Paillou. In The British Zoology, Class II: Birds.

Little is known of his early life but it is believed that he came to Britain from France in the early part of the eighteenth century.

He was given a commission to paint a gilded pheasant in 1745. He was employed by Thomas Pennant to paint pictures of birds, many of which were engraved by Peter Mazell for use as plates in Pennant's books.[1]

He made a number of paintings representing different climate types for Thomas Pennant, probably under commission, and some of these are in the Pennant Collection in the National Library of Wales.[2]


His son, also named Peter Paillou (1757–1831), was a painter of portraits including miniatures.[3][4] He practised in London for 20 years before moving to Glasgow for some years, where he charged eight guineas for a miniature and ten guineas for a three quarter length portrait in oils.[5]


  • Colour plates in A natural history of birds by George Edwards, 1740–50.


  1. ^ "Peter Paillou". Retrieved 2013-04-12.
  2. ^ "Thomas Pennant 1726 – 1798". Arddangosfa Thomas Pennant. National Library of Wales. Retrieved 2013-04-12.
  3. ^ "Peter Paillou (British, 1757–1831)". Bonhams. 2001–2013. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  4. ^ "Peter Paillou the younger paintings". BBC. 2013. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  5. ^ "Peter Paillou". Advertisement "Portrait Painting" in The Glasgow Courier, 23 April 1803. The Glasgow Art Index. Retrieved 12 April 2013.

External links[edit]