Marcus Elieser Bloch

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Marcus Elieser Bloch.jpg

Marcus Elieser Bloch.jpg Marcus Elieser Bloch (1723–1799) is considered by many to be the greatest fish illustrator of all time and one of the most-respected and collected natural history artists. Original copies of his leather-bound volumes, produced in the late 1700s, today sell for princely sums (one source places a market value of 90,000 Euros on a complete three-volume set).

Bloch was more than a supremely talented engraver. He was born in Anspach, Germany and practised medicine in Berlin before becoming serious about ichthyology. His encyclopedic works on the fishes of Europe and the tropics are considered among the most important ichthyological studies of the 18th century.

Bloch's Queen Triggerfish

His titles, in German, were:

  • Allgemeine Naturgeschichte der Fische, 12 volumes, including: Oeconomische Naturgeschichte der Fische Deutschlands, (three volumes on the fishes of Germany), and Naturgeschichte der ausländischen Fische (9 volumes on species from elsewhere in the world).

Bloch's collection of fish specimens, numbering about 1,500, can be seen in Berlin at the Museum of Natural History (Naturhistorisches Museum), Humboldt University.