Here’s a book not only for birders, but lovers of art and biographies. While I did, indeed spend hours just marveling at the detailed illustrations of the birds, their nests, and their eggs, I also enjoyed reading the history. I found Elphick’s writing approachable and soon was caught up the in voyages that allowed these artists, known and unknown to us, the chance to paint. What makes this a truly magnificent gift is the sumptuous prints included in this box set.
This remarkably beautiful volume gathers together a selection of the most important and vibrant ornithological art from London's Natural History Museum. Birds tells the remarkable story of the development of ornithological art through the ages, from the earliest images of birds in the Renaissance, through the Age of Exploration, to the present day. Brilliantly reproduced original artworks by such renowned artists as Audubon, Gould, MacGillivray, Thorburn, and Wolfe are included. The lively accompanying text tells the story of how ornithological art grew out of the naturalistic tradition of European painting to become a genre on its own, where the artist's focus on aesthetic appeal was married to the scientist's need for precision and detail. Many of the works reproduced in this volume have never before been published. The detailed text interweaves science, art history, biography, exploration, and travel to paint a vast and wondrous picture of the bygone world of artist-scientists, exotic birds, and faraway lands. It makes a perfect gift for anyone who loves fine prints and drawings or has an interest in nature or birding.
About the Author
Jonathan Elphick has a degree in zoology and is a popular writer, journalist, and broadcaster specializing in natural history and science.