Birds of America: The Complete Collection of 435 Illustrations from the Most Famous Bird Book in the World

Front Cover
Welcome Rain, 1997 - Nature - 504 pages
8 Reviews
Unlike the drawings and paintings of his contemporaries, which were produced from prepared skins and zoo specimens, Audubon's paintings are taken directly from his observations in the wild, and the richness and directness come straight from the real world. No wonder that Audubon became known in his lifetime as "The American Woodsman". These paintings were produced between 1828 and 1837; between 175 and 200 sets of these paintings were produced, and the last complete set to come to auction fetched nearly $3 million. The prints of this edition are almost exactly one-half size of the original life-size paintings.

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Review: Birds of America

User Review  - Joseph - Goodreads

I work for the Academy of Natural sciences in Philadelphia, where we turn the page daily on our copy of the Elephant Edition, so this particular version pales, but still a great book for the collection. Read full review

Review: Birds of America

User Review  - Goodreads

I work for the Academy of Natural sciences in Philadelphia, where we turn the page daily on our copy of the Elephant Edition, so this particular version pales, but still a great book for the collection. Read full review

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About the author (1997)

The American ornithologist John James Audubon was born in 1785 in Haiti. His boyhood was spent in France. At the age of 18, he came to the United States and made his home in Pennsylvania.. As a young man, Audubon enjoyed observing birds. He organized the first bird-banding flights in the United States. In the 1830s, Audubon traveled to Florida and spent most of his time in the Florida Keys. Soon he conceived the idea of painting every species of American bird in its native habitat. To accomplish that goal, Audubon spent years traveling through wilderness areas enduring incredible hardships. His drawings and paintings of birds and other animals represent a combination of artistic talent and scientific observation. Unable to provide financially for his family, Audubon went to Great Britain in search of a publisher in 1826. Not only did he succeed in getting his work published there, Audubon also was made a member of the Wernerian Natural History Society and of the Royal Society. The Birds of America, in elephant folio size, was published in parts between 1827 and 1938. The accompanying five-volume text, called Ornithological Biography (1831--39), was prepared largely in Edinburgh, Scotland, in collaboration with William MacGillivray. Returning to the United States in 1836, Audubon dined with President Andrew Jackson and received a warm welcome from Daniel Webster and Washington Irving. While Audubon's drawings of birds and other animals were exceptional as art, they also influenced ornithologists and other zoologists to observe wildlife in natural settings. Audubon died in 1851. Audubon's two sons completed the Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America, which Audubon had begun in collaboration with John Bachman.

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