Birds: The Art of Ornithology (Hardcover)

Staff Pick Logo
Birds: The Art of Ornithology Cover Image
Usually Ships in 1-5 Days

Staff Reviews

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.

— Susan


Relaunched in a stunning boxed set that comes with a richly illustrated book and thirty-six framable prints, this landmark book will fascinate anyone interested in birds, natural history, and art. With an outstanding selection of the most important and vibrant bird images from the unrivaled collection at the Natural History Museum in London, it includes works by some of the most famous natural-history artists ever published, including Audubon, Lear, MacGillivray, and Gould.

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.

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 is a wildlife writer, editor, consultant, lecturer, and broadcaster, specializing in ornithology. During a career spanning almost forty years, he has written many books, including The World of Birds, the best seller Birdsong, and the award-winning Birdwatcher's Handbook. He was researcher for Birds & People, the largest survey of cultural attitudes to birds worldwide, and for the acclaimed best seller Birds Britannica.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780847861088
ISBN-10: 0847861082
Publisher: Skira Rizzoli
Publication Date: September 19th, 2017
Pages: 224
Language: English