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Famous Dutch anatomist on the conflicting demands of family life, academic career and scientific pursuits

[Autograph letter, signed, to Reinier Arrenberg].
Groningen, 2 February 1773. 4to. Brown ink on laid paper, addressed on the outside and with an armorial red wax seal.
With: (2) [PORTRAIT]. [PUJOS, André]. P. Camper, ...
[Paris, André Pujos, 1786]. 4to. Mezzotint portrait on laid paper. [1], [1 blank, except for the address]; [1] ll.
€ 4,750
Signed autograph letter from the well-known Dutch anatomist Petrus Camper (1722-1789), professor of medicine and anatomy at the University of Groningen, to the bookseller, publisher and newspaper editor Reinier Arrenberg (1733-1812), to let him know that circumstances had prevented him from completing his work for the first volume (1774) of the Verhandelingen van het Bataafsch Genootschap der Proefondervindelyke Wysbegeerte te Rotterdam in the vacation and that he would not be able to complete his contributions in the coming three months as intended.
The portrait was drawn from life by André Pujos (1738-1788) and executed in mezzotint by Claude Dominique Vinsac (ca. 1749-ca. 1800). It has no imprint or artist's name, but the Mercure Français described it and filled in many of the details: "très bien dessiné d'après nature par M. Pujos, & très-bien gravé par M. Vinsac, se trouve à Paris, chez M. Pujos, quai Pelletier, près la Grève."
The letter has a chip where the recipient opened it (the piece torn off is still attached to the seal) and a hole through the foot of both leaves where it was probably tied with a ribbon. The seal itself survives virtually complete, but has been squashed, so that one cannot see details of the arms. The portrait has been trimmed down to the border and mounted on a backing sheet with a manuscript heading. Both are otherwise in very good condition. A letter from a well-known Dutch scientist, noting the difficulties that were to lead him to relinquish his professorship. For the portrait: Mercure Français, 1786, no. 10 (11 March 1786), p. 92; R. v. Eynden & A. v. d. Willigen IV, p. 176.
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