Skip to main content
  • Want more images or videos?
    Request additional images or videos from the seller
1 of 12

John James Audubon
American Woodcock

1827-1839

$6,995
$9,00022% Off

About

From The Birds of America. Drawn from Nature and published by John J. Audubon. Engraved, printed, colored and published by Robert Havell 1827-1839. Plate 268. John James Audubon (1785 – 1851) was an American ornithologist, naturalist, and painter. He was notable for his extensive studies documenting all types of American birds and for his detailed illustrations that depicted the birds in their natural habitats. The Birds of America is considered one of the finest ornithological works ever completed. From his earliest days, Audubon had an affinity for birds. "I felt an intimacy with them...bordering on frenzy [that] must accompany my steps through life." His father encouraged his interest in nature: "He would point out the elegant movement of the birds, and the beauty and softness of their plumage. He called my attention to their show of pleasure or sense of danger, their perfect forms and splendid attire. He would speak of their departure and return with the seasons." In France during the chaotic years of the French Revolution and its aftermath, the younger Audubon grew up to be a handsome and gregarious man. He played flute and violin, and learned to ride, fence, and dance. A great walker, he loved roaming in the woods, often returning with natural curiosities, including birds' eggs and nests, of which he made crude drawings. As a mature artist and naturalist Audubon developed his own methods for drawing birds. First, he killed them using fine shot. He then used wires to prop them into a natural position, unlike the common method of many ornithologists, who prepared and stuffed the specimens into a rigid pose. When working on a major specimen like an eagle, he would spend up to four 15-hour days, preparing, studying, and drawing it His paintings of birds are set true-to-life in their natural habitat. He often portrayed them as if caught in motion, especially feeding or hunting. This was in stark contrast to the stiff representations of birds by his contemporaries. Audubon based his paintings on his extensive field observation. He worked primarily with watercolor early on. He added colored chalk or pastel to add softness to feathers, especially those of owls and herons. He employed multiple layers of watercoloring, and sometimes used gouache. All species were drawn life size which accounts for the contorted poses of the larger birds as Audubon strove to fit them within the page size. Smaller species were usually placed on branches with berries, fruit, and flowers. He used several birds in a drawing to present all views of anatomy and wings. Larger birds were often placed in their ground habitat or perching on stumps. At times, as with woodpeckers, he combined several species on one page to offer contrasting features. He frequently depicted the birds' nests and eggs, and occasionally natural predators, such as snakes. He usually illustrated male and female variations, and sometimes juveniles. Audubon's influence on ornithology and natural history was far reaching. Nearly all later ornithological works were inspired by his artistry and high standards. Charles Darwin quoted Audubon three times in On the Origin of Species and also in later works. Despite some errors in field observations, he made a significant contribution to the understanding of bird anatomy and behavior through his field notes. The Birds of America is still considered one of the greatest examples of book art. Audubon discovered 25 new species and 12 new subspecies. Image size: 14.88 Sheet size: 18.50 x 24.25

Details

  • Artist
    John James Audubon (1785-1851, French/American)
  • Creation Year
    1827-1839
  • Dimensions
    Height: 14.88 in. (37.8 cm)Width: 20.63 in. (52.41 cm)
  • Medium
  • Movement & Style
  • Period
  • Condition
    The image is in perfect condition. The white margin is unstained but trimmed, and print is laid down (i.e., attached to card stock). The uncut sheet size (with full margins) of this engraving would be normally 26.50 x 39 inches.
  • Gallery Location
    New York, NY
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU5183853401

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity.
    Ships From: New York, NY
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 3 days of delivery.

1stDibs Buyer Protection Guaranteed
If your item arrives not as described, we’ll work with you and the seller to make it right. Learn more
About the Seller
4.7 / 5
Located in New York, NY
Vetted Seller
Our team of world-class specialists approve every seller on 1stDibs.
Established in 1928
1stDibs seller since 2014
276 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 19 hours
More From This Seller

You May Also Like

Bachman's Hare, Lithograph, No 22, Plate 108, Original Audubon, 19th Century
By John James Audubon
Located in Doylestown, PA
Category

1840s Realist

Materials

Archival Paper, Lithograph

Red Phalarope
By John James Audubon
Located in Saint Augustine, FL
Category

1830s Victorian

Materials

Watercolor, Engraving, Aquatint

Snow Bunting
By John James Audubon
Located in Saint Augustine, FL
Category

1830s Victorian

Materials

Engraving, Aquatint, Watercolor

Sandwich Tern (with Florida Cray Fish) (Florida Keys)
By John James Audubon
Located in Saint Augustine, FL
Category

1830s Victorian

Materials

Watercolor, Engraving, Aquatint

"Worm-Wood Hare," Original Color Lithograph by John James Audubon
By John James Audubon
Located in Milwaukee, WI
Category

1840s Other Art Style

Materials

Lithograph

"Northern Hare," Original Color Lithograph by John James Audubon
By John James Audubon
Located in Milwaukee, WI
Category

1840s Other Art Style

Materials

Lithograph

"Townsend's Rocky Mountain Hare," Original Color Lithograph by J. J. Audubon
By John James Audubon
Located in Milwaukee, WI
Category

Mid-19th Century Academic

Materials

Lithograph

"Grey Rabbit," Animal Study Original Color Lithograph by John James Audubon
By John James Audubon
Located in Milwaukee, WI
Category

1840s Academic

Materials

Lithograph

The 1stDibs Promise

Learn More

Expertly Vetted Sellers

Confidence at Checkout

Price-Match Guarantee

Exceptional Support

Buyer Protection

Insured Global Delivery