Historical Museum of Southern Florida
Illustrating Cuba's Flora and Fauna

Antonio Parra

The most significant event for Cuban natural history illustration in the eighteenth century, and for Cuban bibliography in general, was the publication in Cuba of Antonio Parra's extraordinary Descripción de Diferentes Piezas de Historia Natural (1787). The book contains seventy images of fish, crustaceans and other sea fauna. In terms of sheer number, Parra's plates represent close to half the production of Cuban images for the entire century.

The book was the first to be illustrated in Cuba and by a Cuban. Parra's son, nineteen-year old Cuban-born Manuel Antonio, etched these marvelous plates for his father.

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