Birds: The Art of Ornithology

Birds: The Art of Ornithology

by Jonathan Elphick
     
 

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This remarkably beautiful volume gathers together a selection of the most important and vibrant ornithological art from London’s Natural History Museum. Birds tells the remarkable story of the development of ornithological art through the ages, from the earliest images of birds in the Renaissance, through the Age of Exploration, to the present day.

Overview

This remarkably beautiful volume gathers together a selection of the most important and vibrant ornithological art from London’s Natural History Museum. Birds tells the remarkable story of the development of ornithological art through the ages, from the earliest images of birds in the Renaissance, through the Age of Exploration, to the present day. Brilliantly reproduced original artworks by such renowned artists as Audubon, Gould, MacGillivray, Thorburn, and Wolfe are included.
The lively accompanying text tells the story of how ornithological art grew out of the naturalistic tradition of European painting to become a genre on its own, where the artist’s focus on aesthetic appeal was married to the scientist’s need for precision and detail.
Many of the works reproduced in this volume have never before been published. The detailed text interweaves science, art history, biography, exploration, and travel to paint a vast and wondrous picture of the bygone world of artist-scientists, exotic birds, and faraway lands. It makes a perfect gift for anyone who loves fine prints and drawings or has an interest in nature or birding.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"If you are someone who combines an appreciation of art with an enjoyment of wild birds, you will find this book sweet." ~Maine Antique Digest

"If your knowledge of bird art is limited to Audubon, Sibley and Peterson, the parade of characters who walk across its pages will be a revelation." ~The New York Times

"...any birder or artist would enjoy this book as an inexpensive gift with the holidays coming up, and the volume will surely fit snugly into a Christmas stocking." ~10000birds.com

Library Journal
This enjoyable read weaves parallel themes of art, science, and bird-watching into a survey of ornithological art from early representations in the mid-1600s to the present day. Elphick, a popular British writer, broadcaster, and zoologist, details the evolution of the form, from Sarah Stone's fanciful illustrations to the observational images of Dr. Ferdinand Lucas Bauer, and also considers the development of different media, such as watercolors, woodcuts, engravings, etching techniques, and lithography. He also includes biographical sketches for such significant bird artists as the English painter Edward Lear and the famous American John James Audubon, whose dramatic Birds of America transcends the ornithological. The book is divided chronologically into four segments: "Engravers & Explorers 1600-1800," "Audubon to the First Lithographers 1800-1850," "The Golden Age of Lithography 1850-1890," and "An Age of Transition 1890-Today." Each chapter provides a textual summary followed by a series of lavish color plates (300 total) drawn from the repository of images in London's Natural History Museum. Patrons looking for further reading on the subject may wish to consult last year's beautiful and informative Audubon's Elephant by Duff Hart-Davis. Recommended for natural history, museum, and large public library collections.-Ellen Bates, New York Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780847831340
Publisher:
Rizzoli
Publication date:
05/13/2008
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 6.10(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet the Author

Jonathan Elphick has a degree in zoology and is a popular writer, journalist, and broadcaster specializing in natural history and science.

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