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Archive for the ‘Nature Art’ Category

Where it all started

Posted by Alix on 5 January 2008

First post of 2008! To start the year here are the two prints that started off this bird thing. I say ‘started off’, but it is more that these prints made me sit up and realise that the oddly high occurence of bird ephemera in my life must be connected to some kind of hitherto unrecognised appreciation that perhaps I should act on. I haven’t worded that very well, but I hope you get my drift.

I found these prints at a market stall in Hackney about 2 years ago, at the time I only knew I liked them, and had to sift through the huge pile of them the seller had, to choose two. He was selling them for a fiver apiece, so despite wanting the whole booksworth of prints I had to limit myself. I felt they were rather overpriced at the time, but see now that this was a decent rate. I wish I’d known; I’d have bought the whole lot. I also wish I’d picked the magpie rather than the lark, but it’s done now. They are by the Rev. Francis Orpen Morris (more on him here), I believe from his History of British Birds, published at some point in the second half of the 19th century. I’m reasonably fussy about my nature prints – I don’t like too much background detail, and I like the subject to look as natural as possible. I like a nice, modest image. Orpen Morris, I feel, delivers on these points.

The Missel Thrush

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The White-Winged Lark
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audbon birds

Posted by Alix on 26 December 2007

audbon birds, originally uploaded by Bunny Cuddler.

Second in my posts from Flickr – although captioned ‘audbon’ I guess it should be ‘Audubon’ as in John James Audubon, the 19th century painter and cataloguer of North American birds. Find out more about him here.

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Mystery Finches

Posted by Alix on 20 December 2007

I bought this print from Bermondsey Antiques Market a few months ago, I don’t actually know anything about it, but a bit of Googling suggests it may be a John Cassin lithograph from an US Pacific Railroad Exploration and Survey booklet, which would date it to the mid 1800s. It might not be this at all though! Anyone know anything?

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Alexandre Rodrigues Ferreira

Posted by Alix on 12 November 2007

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via BibliOddysey – Brazilian naturalist Alexandre Rodrigues Ferreira travelled the interior of Brazil a few centuries ago,┬ádocumenting the flora and fauna. They say it better, so here’s what BibliOddysey has on the subject:

Brazilian naturalist, Alexandre Rodrigues Ferreira, (1756-1815) obtained his doctorate in natural history in Portugal and was commissioned by the Queen to explore the interior of his homeland. He spent nine years collecting and cataloguing specimens and travelling through the largely unexplored west and north of Brazil. The National Library of Brazil have a rather excellent and extensive collection of his (and accompanying illustrators) drawings (fauna and flora) in a website assembled to mark the 250th anniversary of his birth last year.

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Hamburg Thrush

Posted by Alix on 18 October 2007

Another German acquisition – this print of unknown origin was from an antique market in Hamburg. The way that the missel bird is perched on some mistletoe is a lovely touch, and the background is distant and subtle enough to not intrude into the foreground. I do dislike prints where the subject is competing with the background like this one (actually I do quite like that print, my apologies Alfred Brehm). The mistle thrush’s old name is stormcock, named so because they would often sing during bad weather (though whether they were singing this is another matter).

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Black Penelope

Posted by Alix on 18 September 2007

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Picked this print up at the book market underneath Waterloo Bridge. I don’t know who the artist was, or when it’s from, but Wikipedia at least helps me with the identity of the bird – ‘penelope‘ refers to a genus of bird which lives in South America to Mexico, also known as ‘guans’. Many of the species in the genus appear to be in danger or extinct, so perhaps there are no longer any black penelopes in the world. Apparently they are ‘turkey like’ and have a ‘raucous honking call’.

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Jules Rupalley Quail

Posted by Alix on 7 September 2007

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Just a quick one, via BibliOdyssey once more..

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The Little Bird Project

Posted by Alix on 9 August 2007

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Via Drawn!The Little Bird Project. Lots of great cartoons/ illustrations of birds here. What a lovely idea! The one above is by Austin Ackles.

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Musaeum Tradescantianum

Posted by Alix on 21 July 2007

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‘An Early ripe Apple and good in taste’

These pictures are from a catalogue called Musaeum Tradescantianum published by John Tradescant the Younger in 1656, as featured recently on the wonderful BibliOdyssey. Although not primarily illustrations of birds they do depict birds, and anyway the pictures are gorgeous. I like this sort of picture regardless of the subject matter!

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‘The portingegale Quince’ and ‘The quene mother plum’

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