The plate was colored using watercolor & gouache to a very high standard and with a realism which would suggest access to the original drawings. Claude Aubriet (d.1742) was Nicolas Robert's successor as dessinateur du roi for the collection des vélins, and he was succeeded in his turn by his pupil Madeleine Basseporte (1701-1780). Duhamel, a polymath in the great 18th-century tradition, demonstrated his interest in fruit as early as 1728 when he published Recherches sur les causes de la multiplication des espèces de fruits (Paris), followed shortly by his Anatomie de la Poire (Paris, 1730-1731). He employed Aubriet and Basseporte making drawings of various fruit cultivars, apparently with a view to publication, but the lack of the funds necessary to produce the engravings eventually led him to delay the project. It was resurrected twenty years later at the urging of le Berriays, with whose help the present work was eventually published in the 1768. Duhamel was a passionate advocate of fruit ("Je n'ai garde cependant de conseiller tout le monde indistinctement de manger de toutes sortes de fruits"), he dismisses contemporary opinion that fruit could adversely affect health, and presents the work as a practical manual intended to aid the spread of both the cultivation and consumption of fruit.