The Butterflies of North America: Titian Peale's Lost Manuscript
Naturalist Titian Ramsay Peale II (1799-1885) had a passion for butterflies, and labored throughout his life on an ambitious catalogue titled The Butterflies of North America, illustrated with his exquisite watercolors. The manuscript, with a companion volume on caterpillars, was never published, and now resides in the Rare Book Collection of New York's American Museum of Natural History. In this museum publication we can see at last Peale's color plates, prepared for the printer over 130 years ago—a consummate blend of art and science, in which he depicts the living beauty of his specimens. Along with 145 lepidopteran species, the book includes 111 superbly detailed paintings of caterpillars and their food plants.