Common Name: American AvocetArtist: after
John James Audubon
, American, 1785 - 1851
Thomas Campbell Eyton
, British, 1809 - 1880
Robert Havell Junior
, British, 1793 - 1878
Material and Medium: hand-coloured engraving and aquatint on paper
Dimensions: Mount: 775 x 573mm
Support: 365 x 514mm
Accession Number: CGSG02277
'Birds of America', which Audubon published between 1827 and 1838, is considered to be one of the most beautiful illustrated books ever produced. Audubon observed and painted many of the birds and their habitats from life, but also shot and stuffed birds so he could study them properly. He wired them into positions he had witnessed the birds make, so that they appear more lifelike in the actual watercolours.
Nevertheless, Audubon was worried by large-scale hunting, and saw 'Birds of America' as a way of recording America's birds for conservation purposes. In addition, Audubon arranged the book’s 435 plates for visual effect rather than scientific accuracy to make the book interesting to art collectors as well as people interested in birds.
The Audubon plates in the Ruskin Collection were collected originally by the ornithologist Thomas Campbell Eyton, who often cut up and folded his plates so they would fit in folders he had made to hold his collection of 7000 bird images.Display Location: