An Audubon Extravaganza

American White Pelican The Birds of America, Color photolithography Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, Ltd (Amsterdam Edition, 1971-72) Plate CCCXI

John James Audubon (1785-1851), the French-born artist who gave us “The Birds of America” — 435 life-size prints — continues to have a hold on the popular imagination as he approaches his 235th birth anniversary.


His accomplishments in fine art didn’t rise to the level of many of his 19th-century contemporaries, and his science was often suspect. Likewise today, for veracity, his birds have long since been surpassed (by Peterson, Sibley and others), as has his scientific knowledge.

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