Audubon’s Birds of America spectacularly capture moments of a calmer past. John James 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! The Old Male. That is how Audubon termed this American Flamingo, which was actually a specimen from off the shores of Cuba. Only a small detail is shown here from the 26 1/4 x 39 1/4 inch print. We purchased the original in order to accurately reproduce it, resulting in this award-winning direct camera lithograph. This Princeton Audubon print is unquestionably among the finest Audubon images ever reproduced in any edition.American Flamingo - plate 431, Princeton Edition
Princeton Audubon Limited was founded in 1985 by the late David Johnson of Princeton, New Jersey, a collector of superb Audubon originals who also founded the days paramount printing company - Princeton Polychrome Press. This company, now sold, achieved an enviable nationwide reputation by reproducing fine art prints for the National Gallery of Art, National Portrait Gallery, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, and The Detroit Institute of Arts.
Although thousands of Audubon type prints flood the Internet, Princetons are unique works of fine art. Typical of professional reviews is the following from William Steiner, Audubon print collector and author of Audubon Prints: A Collector’s Guide To Every Edition. “True prints. True colors. Incredible detail. Princetons are simply the finest Audubon facsimiles ever produced!”
We have an original Octavo 1st edition American Flamingo already framed! Asking $2,250. Contact us to make an offer.
Add to your cart any two of our popular Essex prints from Gallery 3 and apply coupon code EssexFree to get the second at no cost. These are exceptional fine art prints in medium sizes from the collection of originals at The New-York Historical Society.
Among our Audubon originals are some hard to find images. Recently acquired is the beautifully framed octavo Grey Fox. Collectors of Imperial Quadrupeds will find a large selection which includes the Canada Lynx. Our Havells include the beautiful Orchard Oriole and Seaside Finch.
"...there is nothing perfect but primitiveness, and my efforts at copying nature, like all other things attempted by us poor mortals, fall far short of the originals." J.J. Audubon.
Between 1827 and 1838, John James Audubon, brilliant artist and naturalist, published in London, England, in his own style, a series of 435 large-sized, hand-colored etchings with aquatints in a folio entitled The Birds of America. These were reproduced primarily by Robert Havell and Sons from Audubon’s watercolor studies that he had earlier composed during his several journeys throughout the young United States. Looking back, Audubon wrote ... "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." More info.
All birds in the foreground of Audubon’s double elephant compositions are always life size, exactly as they are seen in nature, to which he adds, "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. Larger birds were often drawn in feeding positions in order to fit within the edges of the copper plates. Red-shouldered Hawk, Gallery 1.
Audubon originals are often called plates. Large, smooth copper plates had reverse images etched upon them. Shown here is the actual copperplate for the Labrador Falcon. The plate was black-inked, and then dampened paper was pressed against it. When the paper was pulled off the plate, a properly oriented image resulted which was then hand colored. This was repeated about 200 times, after which the plates lost their crisp edge. This is why many original documents and works of art from this time period were limited to about 200 copies.