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Natural style!

In the early spring of 1832, Audubon and his assistant George Lehman stayed at the home of John Bachman in Charleston, South Carolina. Audubon wrote of the thousands of snowy egrets that had arrived there by March 25 and “were seen in the marshes and rice fields, all in full plumage.” Soon he painted this magnificent egret, while Lehman added the landscape of a rice plantation in the Carolina low country. The figure approaching from bottom right is said to be a cameo of Audubon himself.

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Red-shouldered Hawk

Audubon studied the habits of the pair of hawks represented here over a period of three years, and this devotion resulted in one of the finest works he did in Louisiana before sailing to Liverpool in 1826. "The mutual attachment of the male and the female continues during life," Audubon wrote. "They usually hunt in pairs during the whole year; and although they built a new nest every spring, they are fond of resorting to the same parts of the woods for that purpose."

Birds of America Audubon Prints

Audubon wrote: "Ranged along the margins of the sand-bar, in broken array, stand a hundred heavy-bodied Pelicans...Pluming themselves, the gorged Pelicans patiently wait the return of hunger. Should one chance to gape, all, as if by sympathy, in succession open their long and broad mandibles, yawning lazily and ludicrously...But mark, the red beams of the setting sun tinge the tall tops of the forest trees; the birds experience the cravings of hunger...they rise on their columnar legs, and heavily waddle to the water.

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American White Pelican

Special award: In Audubon's day, Philadelphia was the center of publishing in the young United States. Today it is the headquarters of Neographics, a professional Graphic Arts Association of printers and lithographers from the surrounding 62 county area. In 1987, the print you are looking at won their "Nth" award, or Best in Show. Some say it may be the finest Audubon re-creation ever produced.

When setting forth on this great project, Audubon wrote "...nothing, after all, could ever answer my enthusiastic desires to represent nature, except to copy her in her own way, alive and moving!" Moments of drama in natural settings is the appeal of Audubon's life-size prints.

"Having studied drawing for a short while in my youth under good masters, I felt a great desire to make choice of a style more particularly adapted to the imitation of feathers than the drawings in water colours that I had been in the habit of seeing, and moreover, to complete a collection not only valuable to the scientific class, but pleasing to every person, by adopting a different course of representation from the mere profile-like cut figures, given usually in works of that kind." - John James Audubon

Invest in the past!

Audubon plate 26, the Carolina Parrot. "The woods are the habitation best fitted for them, and there the richness of their plumage, their beautiful mode of flight, and even their screams, afford welcome intimation that our darkest forests and most sequestered swamps are not destitute of charms." So wrote John James Audubon about the stunning Carolina Parrot. In later years he was to write: "Our Parakeets are rapidly diminishing in number, and in some districts, where twenty-five years ago they were plentiful, scarcely any are now to be seen." Sadly, this beautiful bird, which ranged from Texas to New York, is now extinct.

"Merely to say, that each of my illustrations is of the size of nature, were too vague ... Not only is every object, as a whole, of the natural size, but also every portion of each object. The compass aided me in its delineation, regulated and corrected each part, ... The bill, the feet, the legs, the claws, the very feathers as they project one beyond another, have been accurately measured." John James Audubon. Ornithological Biography, Volume 1

Audubon references

Audubon information you can use.

Print Identification and Authentication

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A Brief Introduction to Audubon and the Original Editions

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Do You Really Own A 1st Edition Octavo Quad Print?

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