Gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus). Hand colored engraving. Birds of America
John James Audubon (born Jean-Jacques Audubon, produced a large portfolio of illustrations and prints related to the study of birds. He is best known for the publication The Birds of America (1827-1839), followed by Ornithological Biographies. Audubon was known for illustrating birds in lifelike poses. His original illustrations were completed with watercolor, chalk or pastel. For his publications, large-scale engraved plates were hand-colored.
The Paridae species. Hand colored engraving. Birds of America
Many engravings were also produced after Audubon’s original paintings. The engravings are often life-size renditions of the featured birds.
Harlan’s hawk, plate 86. Hand colored engraving. Brids of America
Trumpeter Swan. Hand colored engraving. Birds of America
Portrait of JJ Audubon. Engraved by H.B. Hall (based on a painting by Henry Inman)
The prints of John James Audubon are easily the most recognized and valued in their category. Audubon inspired a number of ornithological designs that were released in the 1830s. Birds of America alone consisted of over 400 plates, released in several volumes and editions. In 1858, Audubon’s son oversaw a popular reissue in New York. This is an incomplete set, consisting of slightly over 100 plates is now regarded as rare. Many of Audubon’s prints are now in museum, libraries and private collections around the world.