Carl Friedrich von Martius

1814 (Erlangen, Germany) – 1868 (Munich)

Martius spent three years travelling extensively in Brazil, collecting botanical and other specimens; Spix was his zoologist companion for much of these explorations. Schweinitz was among those to whom Martius sent specimens he’d collected. Agassiz, Schimpel and Braun all studied with Martius in Munich; Cuvier suggested Agassiz catalogue Martius’ collection of Brazilian fish (which he proceeded to do in Latin).

Michel Leiris

1901 (Paris) – 1990 (Saint-Hilaire, France)

Leiris met Ravel and Satie at a cousin’s, Metzinger at school. Apollinaire, Duchamp, Picabia and he all helped at a production of his family friend Roussel’s ‘Impressions of Africa.’ Picasso, Masson and Jacob were among his circle of friends in Paris. Bataille became close after Leiris distanced himself from Breton; they founded the Collège de Sociologie with Caillois. Queneau and he had to be repatriated from Spain. Duras was a neighbour, Griaule led an ethnographic expedition. He founded one magazine with Diop and Césaire, and another with Sartre. An evening with Miller, Penrose and Merleau-Ponty ended with his attempted suicide.