Pierre Jean François Turpin

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Grenadier à fruits doux (Pomegranate)

Pierre Jean François Turpin (11 March 1775, Vire – 1 May 1840) was a French botanist and illustrator.[1] He is considered one of the greatest floral and botanical illustrators during the Napoleonic Era and afterwards. As an artist, Turpin was largely self-taught.

In 1794 he was stationed in Haiti as a member of the French Army. Here he met botanist Pierre Antoine Poiteau (1766-1854), through whom, Turpin learned botany, and in the meantime, created numerous botanical field drawings that were to become a basis of further study when the two men returned to France. In regard to their work in Haiti, they were able to describe approximately 800 species of plants. Turpin would have a working relationship with Poiteau throughout his career.

Through his collaboration with Poiteau and other naturalists, Turpin created some of the finest watercolors and illustrations of plants that are known to exist. The following are some of the works making use of Turpin's illustrations:

Essai d'une iconographie élémentaire et philosophique des végétaux, 1820

In 1833 he was elected as a member to the Académie des sciences. The plant genus Turpinia is named in his honour.[2][3]


  1. ^ Vire; Regards sur notre Histoire
  2. ^ JSTOR Plant Science, Turpin, Pierre Jean François (1775-1840)
  3. ^ The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia: The Century dictionary ... by William Dwight Whitney, Benjamin Eli Smith
  4. ^ International Plant Names Index.  Turpin.