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Fabien Gautier d'Agoty
(1747-1781)

Jean Fabien Gautier d'Agoty was born in Paris in 1747, the fifth son of Jacques Gautier (1716-1785), a French pioneer in the development of color printing. Jacques had been an assistant and successor to the painter and engraver Jacques Christophe Le Blon (1670-1741), inventor of the chromolithographic printing process. Le Blon had experimented with a three-color process, but Gautier added a fourth color, black, to perfect the technique. Fabien was taught art and color printing by his father, and in 1776 felt ready to embark upon the publication of his own work, a collection of color-printed plates and explanatory text devoted to the three Kingdoms of Nature: animals, plants and minerals. Being an admirer of the color plates of minerals produced in 1753-1771 by Casimir Christoph Schmiedel (1718-1792), d'Agoty decided to begin with the Mineral Kingdom. On the recommendation of Balthazar Sage he sought out the well-known Parisian crystallographer Jean Baptiste Louis Romé de l'Isle (1736-1790) to prepare the descriptive text to accompany the plates, and supply specimens to illustrate from his personal collection and from those of other prominent collectors in Paris. The book, entitled Histoire Naturelle Regnè Minéral, was to be issued in eight or ten installments of ten plates each. Unfortunately d'Agoty died in 1781, after issuing only 30 plates in the series. His widow arranged for the completion of the book by another artist, Swebach Desfontaines (q.v.), and ultimately a total of 70 plates were issued.

W.E.W.

Reference:
Wilson, W. E. (1995) Fabien Gautier d'Agoty and his Histoire Naturelle Regnè Minéral (1781). Mineralogical Record, 26, 65-76.

Click on thumbnail picture to see larger image.
Number of artworks found: 16 | Artworks being viewed: 9 to 16

The Mineralogical Record: Fabien Gautier d'Agoty - Calcite from the Harz Mountains, Germany Calcite from the Harz Mountains, Germany
Printed colors on paper (1781), depicting (actual size) a 6-inch specimen from the Jacob Forster collection. Published in Histoire Naturelle Regnè Minéral.
The Mineralogical Record: Fabien Gautier d'Agoty - Barite from the Harz Mountains, Germany Barite from the Harz Mountains, Germany
Printed colors on paper (1781), depicting (actual size) a 7.7-inch specimen from the Baron Philippe Joubert collection. Published in Histoire Naturelle Regnè Minéral.
The Mineralogical Record: Fabien Gautier d'Agoty - Smoky Quartz and Feldspar from Brittany, France Smoky Quartz and Feldspar from Brittany, France
Printed colors on paper (1781), depicting (actual size) a 6.5-inch specimen from the Henri Bertin collection. Published in Histoire Naturelle Regnè Minéral.
The Mineralogical Record: Fabien Gautier d'Agoty - Sulfur from Conilla near Cadiz, Spain Sulfur from Conilla near Cadiz, Spain
Printed colors on paper (1781), depicting (actual size) a 4.3-inch specimen from the Balthazar Sage collection. Published in Histoire Naturelle Regnè Minéral.
The Mineralogical Record: Fabien Gautier d'Agoty - Pyrargyrite from the Himmelsfurst Mine, Freiberg, Saxony Pyrargyrite from the Himmelsfurst Mine, Freiberg, Saxony
Printed colors on paper (1781), depicting (actual size) a 4.1-inch specimen from the Romé de l'Isle collection. Published in Histoire Naturelle Regnè Minéral.
The Mineralogical Record: Fabien Gautier d'Agoty - Pyrargyrite from St. Joachimsthal, Bohemia Pyrargyrite from St. Joachimsthal, Bohemia
Printed colors on paper (1781), depicting (actual size) a 2.5-inch specimen from the Abbot Nolin collection. Published in Histoire Naturelle Regnè Minéral.
The Mineralogical Record: Fabien Gautier d'Agoty - Calcite from Derbyshire, England Calcite from Derbyshire, England
Printed colors on paper (1781), depicting (actual size) a 2.2-inch specimen from the Romé de l'Isle collection. Published in Histoire Naturelle Regnè Minéral.
The Mineralogical Record: Fabien Gautier d'Agoty - Quartz with Epidote Inclusions from Dauphine Alps, France Quartz with Epidote Inclusions from Dauphine Alps, France
Printed colors on paper (1781), depicting (actual size) a 2.6-inch specimen from the Romé de l'Isle collection. Published in Histoire Naturelle Regnè Minéral.
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