Francis Dorai & Martyn E.Y. Low
Published in 2021, Diard & Duvaucel: French Natural History Drawings of Singapore and Southeast Asia (1818–1820) – a bilingual book in English and French – tells the story of two young French naturalists, Pierre-Médard Diard and Alfred Duvaucel, who left Paris in 1818 to study the flora and fauna of Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent. They commissioned artists to create drawings of animals and plants they had collected, and sent these to scientists back home for further research. This 188-page publication, which showcases 117 of these stunning, lifelike illustrations, is the result of a collaboration between the Embassy of France and the National Library of Singapore, together with several key partners. Today the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris houses these drawings, with a copy of the digitised images held by the National Library in Singapore.