Jacques Barraband, also known as Pierre-Paul Barraband, was a French zoological and botanical illustrator born in 1767 or 1768 in Aubusson, France. He was renowned for his lifelike renderings of tropical birds, which were considered the most accurate illustrations made during the early 1800s. Barraband’s work was based on meticulously observed mounted specimens. He gained recognition for his illustrations during the French exposition of 1798, contributing to renowned carpet and porcelain manufacturers. Notably, he created a series of watercolors of exotic birds and flowers directly commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte from 1801 to 1804.

Barraband’s cultural impact is significant. His collaboration with prominent naturalists of his time, notably François Le Vaillant, led to the illustration of significant scientific studies on various avian species. His dedication to his craft led to him being chosen by Napoleon I to adorn the banquet hall at St. Cloud. In addition to his artistic pursuits, Barraband became a professor at the School of Arts et Dessin de Lyon in 1807. His impact is further commemorated through a monument erected by his students in his memory at the Lyons cemetery. His work continues to be celebrated for its remarkable lifelike depictions of tropical birds.