Audubon's Birds Of America (Tiny Folio)

April 16, 2014

I was very excited when the book Audubon's Birds Of America (Tiny Folio) I ordered online arrived in the mail yesterday.


It is undoubtedly tiny... the pages inside measuring 4 x 4.5" in size.. leaving the actual images inside to be approx. 3.25 x 4" at most.  However, the reproduction quality of the images are excellent.  All 435 of John James Audubon's original hand colored, engraved drawings for the original "Birds of America" publication, are reproduced here and arranged in scientific order.    

 I am amazed at Audubon's perseverance in drawing as many birds as he did. Most of his illustrations show more than just one bird, and sometimes more than one species of bird... and each one posed in very animated positions. Various backgrounds ranging from landscapes, to flowers and trees are used all throughout his collection.


It is also well-known that Audubon was a hunter and sportsman. He used the birds he hunted to draw from and of course this has always left me conflicted. Would he have used photographs to draw from if he had access to something like cameras in the 1800's?

In any case, his passion for the avian world is evident and I look forward to studying each of his illustrations in more depth.

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