Original engraving with hand coloring. Measures 14" x 17.5"
Published in the book, "Naturhistorische Bilder-Gallerie aus dem Thierreiche" [Natural History Picture Gallery of the Animal Kingdom], this beautifully drawn illustration depicts a speckled caiman. At the time of publication, this species was known taxonomically by the name assigned by Carl Linneaus in 1758, "Lacerta Crocodilus". The genus lacerta refers to several European lizard species, while this species, later renamed as "Caiman crocodilus", is native to Central and South America.
Karl Joseph Brodtmann (1787-1862) was a Swiss artist, lithographer, printmaker, and publisher who produced very fine natural history lithographs, working closely with Swiss naturalist and physician Heinrich R. Schinz.