After Johann Leonhard Frisch had studied theology and philology in Altdorf, Jena, Strasbourg and Nuremberg he travelled through Switzerland, France, Austria, Hungary, Italy and the Netherlands before he settled in Berlin about 1699. Here he married Sophie Elisabeth Drumann from Blankenburg and started to work as a teacher, head teacher, naturalist and philologist. In 1706, recommended by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716), he became member of the Academy of Science in Berlin.
He compiled comprehensive collections of insects and birds, reared silkworms and made silk farming. In 1720 he started his work "Beschreibung von allerlei Insecten in Deutschland" followed by "Vorstellung der Vögel in Deutschland ..." This monumental work on German Birds, made and published over a period of thirty years, became a family project. His sons Ferdinand Helfreich (1707-1758) and Philipp Jakob were responsible for drawing and engraving the plates, his youngest son Just Leopold Frisch (1714-1789) succeeded his father in writing the text and later on also in publishing the work.
FRISCH, Johann Leonhard (1666-1743). Vorstellung der Vögel in Deutschland, und beyläuffig auch einiger fremden, mit ihren Farben, worin einige ihre natürliche Grösse geblieben ... Berlin, bey des Auctoris Sohn, F[erdinand] H[elfreich] Frisch . This work is considered to be the first great German color plate bird book and one of the most enjoyable of all bird books. Today the originally hand-colored copperplate engravings are rare collectors' items.