(George Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon) Naturam amplectitur omenem

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(George Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon) Naturam amplectitur omenem
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A half length portrait, enclosed in a decorative oval, of the naturalist and scientist George Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon (1707-88). A wealthy and intelligent young man, in 1739 Buffon was appointed Keeper of the Royal Botanical Gardens (Jardins du Roi). The wide range of topics which Buffon wrote on include mathematics, the theory of probability, astronomy and physics, especially optics. He is best known, however, for his work on natural history especially Discours sur la manière d'étudier et de traiter l'histoire naturelle, Théorie de la terre and Histoire des animaux all three of which were published in 1749. His aim was to publish 50 volumes of Histoire naturelle, générale et particulière but only 36 had appeared by the time of his death. It is a major achievement which ambitiously attempts to present all knowledge of natural history, geology, and anthropology and their interconnections in a systematic way in a single work. Buffon was succeeded in his post at the Jardin du Roi by the Count de Lacepede, who did research on electricity and published The Natural History of Oviparous Quadrupeds and Serpents in 1788, the year Buffon died. Buffon's son was soon to be guillotined by revolutionary forces in France, but Buffon's massive work survived to influence natural historians in Europe and America for over a century.