Dezallier, D'Argenville, Antony-Joseph

, a French naturalist and biographer, was born at Paris in the beginning of the last century. He was the son of a bookseller of Paris, and was educated in his native city, but a considerable time after this he spent in foreign countries, particularly in Italy, where he formed a taste for the fine arts. He became acquainted with men of science in various parts of Europe, and was elected in 1750 member of the royal society in London, and of the academy of sciences at Montpelier. He wrote some considerable articles, particularly those of gardening and hydrography, in the French Encyclopaedia; and in 1747 he published, in quarto, “La Theorie et la Pratique du Jardinage;” and in 1757, “Conchyliologie, ou Traite sur la nature des Coquillages,” 2 vols. 4to, reprinted 1757, and accounted his most valuable work. His arrangement is made from the external form of shells, according to which he classes them as univalve, bivalve, and multivalve; he then divides them again into shells of the sea, of fresh water, and of the lands. He also gave an account of the several genera of animals that inhabit shells. He published also “L’Orycthologie ou Traite des pierres, des mineraux, des metaux et autres Fossiles,1755, 4to. But the work by which he is best known and most valued by us, is what we have frequent occasion to quote, his “Abreg6 de la Vie de quelques Peintres celebres,” 3 vols. 4to, and 4 vols. 8vo, a work of great labour and taste, although not absolutely free from errors. He practised engraving sometimes himself. He died at Paris in 1766; and his son continued the biography began by the father by the addition of two volumes, containing the lives of architects and sculptors. 2