Étienne Pierre Ventenat

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Étienne Pierre Ventenat (1 March 1757 – 13 August 1808) was a French botanist born in Limoges. He was the brother of naturalist Louis Ventenat (1765–1794).

Ventenat took a trip to England while he was employed as director of the ecclesiastic library Sainte-Geneviève in Paris. While in England, he visited the country's botanical gardens. This inspired him to pursue a career in science. Later he studied under and worked with a botanist named Charles Louis L'Héritier de Brutelle (1746–1800). In 1795, he was elected a member of the Institut national des sciences et des arts. They later changed their name to be the Académie des sciences.

In 1794 he wrote a treatise on the principles of botany. It was called Principes de botanique, expliqués au Lycée républicain par Ventenat. It did not receive much interest when it was released, and Ventenat became so disappointed that he reportedly made efforts to buy all copies of the book and have them destroyed. In 1798 he published a French translation of Antoine-Laurent de Jussieu's Genera plantarum as Tableau du règne végétal selon la méthode de Jussieu. In his translation of the work, Ventenat added information about the properties and uses of plants.

In 1799 he published Description des plantes nouvelles et peu connues, cultivées dans le jardin de J.-M. Cels. This book described plants in the botanical garden of Jacques Philippe Martin Cels (1740–1806). In 1803 he published Le Jardin de la Malmaison because Joséphine de Beauharnais (1763–1814) asked him to write it. He wanted to make sure the rare species of plants found in the gardens and greenhouses of Château de Malmaison were remembered forever. The pictures and drawings in the two aforementioned works were performed by famed botanical artist Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1759–1840). Ventenat is also credited with continuing the work on Jean Baptiste François Pierre Bulliard's Histoire des champignons de la France. This was a landmark (very important) work on mushrooms native to France.

Other works[change | change source]

  • Decas Generum Novorum, 1808.

References[change | change source]

  • This article is based on a translation of an article from the French Wikipedia.