Belon, Pierre (1517-1564)

Pierre Belon, 1517-1564. Pierre Belon, 1517-1564.

Pierre Belon was a French diplomat, explorer and naturalist. He travelled through Greece, Egypt, Arabia and Palestine between 1546 until his return to France in 1549. He is known for various books, among which Les observations de plusieurs singularitez et choses memorables trouvées en Grèce, Asie, Judée, Egypte, Arabie et autres pays étrangèrs (Paris, 1553).

His Observations includes botanical, ethnographical and zoological details about the places he visited, with scattered details about the garments worn in various countries, as well as references to embroidery (see for example, bed tents).

The Observations was first published in French by G. Corrozet (Paris) in 1553 and then in English in the same year. The book was revised and reprinted in both Paris and Antwerp in 1555, and then published in Latin in 1589 (digital source:

He also produced a book on fish called L’Histoire de la nature des estranges poissons marins (Paris 1551; also known as La Nature et Diversité des Poissons). This book was published again in Latin for an international market (1555). He also wrote a book on birds, entitled L'Histoire de la nature des oyseaux (Paris 1555). In Europe the illustrations in these books became a popular source of designs for embroideries.

See also the TRC Needles entries on Conrad Gesnerand the Oxburgh embroidered hangings.

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 18th June 2016).


Last modified on Monday, 01 May 2017 17:23