James Barbut

James Barbut (c. 1711–1788) was a British painter and naturalist noted for his renderings of insects, mollusks, and crustaceans.

  • The sphinx atropos squeakes when hurt, nearly as loud as a mouse, which, when uttered in the most plaintive tone, naturally shocks the human heart, and makes it shudder at the thought of destroying inoffensive animals merely for the sake of curiosity. I cannot help reflecting on this tyranny, this wanton cruelty, exercised by thoughtless man, on many animals but especially in insects: 'tis certain, that every animal possessing life, has feeling; and, therefore, is as capable of suffering pain, as of enjoying pleasure; and, as Shakespeare humanely expresses “The poor beetle crushed beneath the foot, feels the pangs of death as great as when a monarch falls.” Gentle reader, pardon this digression, my feelings commanded my pen.
    • The Genera Insectorum of Linnæus, Exemplified by Various Specimens English Insects drawn by Nature (1781)
Last modified on 29 October 2013, at 12:53