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Collection of the Guild of St George, Museums Sheffield
Alca impennis
Common Name: Great Auk
Date Made/Found: 1832-1837
Artist: Edward Lear , British, 1812 - 1888
Previous owner: Thomas Campbell Eyton , British, 1809 - 1880
Printmaker: Edward Lear , British, 1812 - 1888
Associated with: John Gould , British, 1804 - 1881
Associated with: Elizabeth Gould , British, 1804 - 1841
Publisher: Charles Joseph Hullmandel , British, 1789 - 1850
Material and Medium: hand-coloured lithograph on paper
Dimensions: Mount: 464 x 616mm Support: 356 x 530mm
Department: Ruskin
Accession Number: CGSG02175
This is a lithograph from John Gould's book the 'Birds of Europe', a large scale work on European bird-life which Gould published in five volumes between 1832 and 1837. Gould wrote the text himself, and it was illustrated with 448 lavish plates. Lear provided 68 of the plates, which he both drew and lithographed. The others were drawn and lithographed by Gould's wife Elizabeth. In this case, Gould attributed the drawing to his wife, although it is clearly signed by Lear himself. Lear was unusual in that he made his preparatory drawings from live birds rather than from skins or taxidermy, and his keen association with ornithologists meant he gained access to measure and sketch birds in private menageries. This meant that his plates often had more character and better accuracy than those by other ornithological artists.
Display Location: In Store
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