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Copper plate engraved in 1830 by Robert Havell Jr. for John James Audubon's publication, the Birds of America, published in Britain between 1827 and 1838 as a series of large folio engravings. The museum's Graphic Arts Collection includes seven of the original copper plates.
The Birds of America was published in several formats. The first large folio edition was intended for wealthy patrons or institutions. Later editions, produced in the U.S. for a more general audience, included text and smaller, less costly lithographic illustrations.
Audubon introduced new species and new artistic forms. His dramatic images of birds, pictured life-size in animated poses with realistic backgrounds, represented a departure from the conventions of natural history illustration. His artistic ingenuity, as reproduced in engravings and lithographs, won over new audiences for the subject of nature study.
Currently not on view
Havell, Jr., Robert
Audubon, John James
United Kingdom: England, London
metal, steel-faced (overall material)
overall: 25 1/2 in x 38 3/4 in; 64.77 cm x 98.425 cm