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Collection of the Guild of St. George, Museums Sheffield
Anas autumnalis
Date Made/Found: 1837
Artist: Edward Lear , British, 1812 - 1888
Previous owner: Thomas Campbell Eyton , British, 1809 - 1880
Material and Medium: watercolour on paper
Dimensions: Mount: 463 x 615mm Support: 283 x 383mm
Department: Ruskin
Accession Number: CGSG02240
Lear painted this for naturalist Thomas Campbell Eyton, towards his book 'A Monograph of the Anatidae or Duck Tribe', published in 1838. In 1837 Eyton employed Lear to make bird studies from life, or if this was not possible, used stuffed birds as the first step in producing the illustrations. Six of Lear's duck drawings were later developed for the book, and unused ones were kept in Eyton's private collection. Interestingly, the Royal Academy of Arts has some almost identical drawings by John Halphead Smith (1826-1896), painted in 1840. These too was painted for Eyton. It’s possible that Smith copied Lear's work, and that Eyton allowed his collection or specimen drawings to be used by other artists and authors. Certainly, one of Lear's drawings from Eyton's collection was reproduced for Sir William Jardine's book 'Illustrations of the Duck Tribe' of 1839, showing that natural scientists of the time collaborated.
Display Location: In Store
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