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François Nicolas Martinet engraved illustrations of birds for books by some of the most influential ornithologists in 18th-century France. Born in 1731, Martinet was trained as an engineer and draftsman. Engraving illustrations for books probably began as a secondary profession, but as his popularity and output grew it must have consumed the majority of his time. Martinet's son Alexandre eventually assisted him and made many engravings, as is known from signatures and dates on the prints. Martinet also had two sisters, Angélique and Marie Thérèse, who were engravers as well, but it is not known if they worked with him. Towards the end of his career, Martinet drew upon his experience in engraving birds for others to publish his own ornithology books, producing plates until his death sometime in the late 1780s or early 1790s (sources disagree on the year).
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