While most Singaporeans are familiar with the names Raffles and Farquhar, it has been unveiled that French naturalists Pierre-Medard Diard and Alfred Duvaucel also played a key role in the study of Singapore's natural history.
Their illustrations were showcased as part of the Voilah! France Singapore Festival last night, through video projections on building facades in Armenian Street.
French artist Julien Nonnon put together the display, which involves digitised, colourful drawings of animals such as a turtle, a pheasant and a finch.
The showcase runs till tomorrow, from 7.30pm to 10pm.
The pair of naturalists' contributions were highlighted as well in a book titled Voyageurs, Explorateurs Et Scientifiques: The French And Natural History In Singapore, launched yesterday.
The book, which has multiple authors, is a collaboration between the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum and the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris.
The first chapter of the book was written by Ms Daniele Weiler, 69, a Frenchwoman who has lived in Singapore for 15 years.
She was working as a teacher and librarian at the Lycee Francais de Singapour when she began her research on the duo, and is now retired.
Her section details how Diard and Duvaucel came to Singapore together in 1819 and worked with Sir Stamford Raffles.
During their four weeks here, the pair collected specimens and made notes and drawings of the flora and fauna.
Much of these ended up in Raffles' possession after a contract dispute regarding the ownership of the materials collected.
Raffles left Singapore by ship in 1824. He had packed the scientific collection together with his belongings, but all was thought lost in a fire that broke out on board two days later.
While the passengers were saved, the cargo was destroyed.
Unbeknown to many, some of Diard and Duvaucel's work made it through the ages, as the duo had smuggled them to France beforehand.
This was uncovered by the French Embassy, which worked with Singapore and French partners to showcase their story in this year's Voilah! France Singapore Festival.
Some information about the two was first included in the book, The French In Singapore, written by Ms Weiler and Mr Maxime Pilon, and published in 2011.
Ms Weiler was asked earlier this year by the embassy to further research the two and expand on their contributions in the chapter she authored in the new book.
French Ambassador to Singapore Marc Abensour said: "The findings of Diard and Duvaucel are important because they were among the earliest naturalists to study the biodiversity of Singapore and the surrounding region."