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Watercolour of Buckingham House's East Library

George III amassed an extensive collection of books and manuscripts

Eleazar Albin (c.1680–c.1742)

A natural history of English insects 1749

RCIN 1057018

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Eleazar Albin was both a naturalist and an artist. He based his Natural History of English Insects on careful observation. Albin prided himself on his visual accuracy, stating in his introduction that his drawings were copied from life, unlike those of other illustrators, who ‘either did not look often enough at their Pattern, or affected to make the Picture outdo Nature’.

The work was published on black and white copper plates, which could be coloured by the author on request. Albin’s publication was supported by his circle of patrons and colleagues, including Caroline, Princess of Wales (later Queen Caroline, consort of George II), to whom the work is dedicated.