Published: Paris : Poincot, Libraire, 1789.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau is best known as one of the most important of the
"philosophes" of the Age of the Enlightenment in France, but his
contributions in botany were both extensive and significant. He began to study
botany in the 1760ís in Switzerland and became acquainted with some of the important
botanists of his era-Michel Adanson and Bernard de Jussieu, for example. Recueil
de plantes coloriées (1789) was added to Lettres élémentaires
sur la botanique which was published in Geneva in 1782. The colored plates were
the work of Jean Aubry and are assigned to augment each of the thirty-two sections of
the Lettres. Rousseau was also the creator of a number of herbaria which
contained thousands of specimens collected by him and some of his acquaintances. It
has been said that Rousseauís writings did much to popularize botany and nature
studies in general.