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( 1785-1851 )

John James Audubon

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"My birds, my beloved birds of America, fill all my time and nearly all my thoughts!" Thus wrote John James Audubon, creator of The Birds of America (1827-1838), a landmark in ornithology and one of the most sought-after documents in American art. 

 

John James Audubon (1785-1851), acclaimed as one of the greatest natural artists of all time, devoted most of his adult life to the monumental task of creating a faithful and lasting record of all the birds known to America. For over twenty years, the `American Woodsman' explored the continent - from the Arctic to Patagonia -to study the anatomy, behaviour and habitat of birds as varied as the Bonaparte Fly Catcher, the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, the Great White Crane and the Passenger Pigeon. His contribution to scientific ornithology is significant: during his research he not only discovered hitherto unidentified species but also was the first exponent of bird `banding' or `ringing'.  However, Audubon's true achievement lies in transforming accurate descriptions of species into spectacular paintings which bring over 400 American birds vividly to life: he was the first ornithological artist to portray birds life-size and "alive and moving" in naturalistic settings. His enduring images combined scientific accuracy, strong composition and brilliant colour.

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This essay is copyrighted by the Charleston Renaissance Gallery and may not be reproduced or transmitted without written permission from Robert M. Hicklin, Jr. Inc.


For more information on this artist and work, please contact us.

This essay is copyrighted by Robert M. Hicklin Jr., Inc. and may not be reproduced or transmitted without written permission.

1451 River Road · Yemassee, SC 29945 · 843.412.8738
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