Audubon : Early Drawings
Publisher: Harvard University
- Book Category: Arts and Photography
- Format: Hardcover
- Number of Pages: 272
In 1805, Jean Jacques Audubon was a twenty-year-old itinerant Frenchman of ignoble birth and indifferent education who had fled revolutionary violence in both Haiti and France to take refuge in frontier America. Ten years later, John James Audubon was an American citizen, entrepreneur, and family man whose fervent desire to 'become acquainted with nature' had led him to reinvent himself as a naturalist and artist whose publication of "Birds of America" would soon earn him international acclaim. The drawings he made during this crucial decade, of specimens he collected in France and in America - now held by the Houghton Library and the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard - are published together here for the first time in large format and full color. In these portraits, we watch Audubon invent his ingenious methods of posing and depicting his subjects, and we trace his development into a scientist and an artist who could proudly sign his artworks 'drawn from Nature.' The drawings are enhanced by an essay on the sources of Audubon's art by his biographer, Richard Rhodes; full transcription of Audubon's own annotations; ornithological commentary and an essay on Audubon's science by Scott V. Edwards; and an account of the collection's history by Leslie A. Morris.Splendid in their own right, these drawings also illuminate the self-invention of one of the most important figures in American natural history. They will delight and inform all those interested in American art, nature, birds, and the life and times of John James Audubon.