The French botanist and illustrator Pierre Jean François Turpin is considered one of the greatest floral and botanical illustrators of his time. He began his study of nature while stationed in Haiti in 1794 as a member of the French army. There he met the botanist Pierre Antoine Poiteau and began to create botanical field drawings. As an artist, Turpin was largely self-taught.
The Dictionnaire des Sciences Naturelles was published by Turpin. Most of the illustrations in this work were engraved after paintings by Jean-Gabriel Prêtre.