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A Forthcoming Book Flies Through Hundreds of Elizabeth Gould’s Groundbreaking Avian Illustrations — Colossal

September 1, 2023 - Art



History
Illustration
Science

#birds
#books
#Elizabeth Gould
#lithographs

September 1, 2023

Grace Ebert

A vulture with purple, maroon, and speckled feathers and long pink feet

Vulturine Guineafowl, Acryllium vulturinum, Plate 8, Icones Avium (1837–38). All images courtesy of the Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London, shared with permission

As often happens with creative couples throughout history, Elizabeth Gould’s legacy tends to be overshadowed by her husband’s. Gould (1804-1840) was an ambitious and knowledgeable artist, who, throughout her short lifetime, illustrated more than 600 avian species that ushered in significant advances in natural history. Many of the birds had previously gone undocumented, and paired with her husband John’s studies, the lithographs conveyed the true diversity within ornithology.

Now partially compiled in a celebratory tome of her life and work, 220 of Gould’s illustrations have migrated from the collections of London’s Natural History Museum to the page. Birds of the World: The Art of Elizabeth Gould spans 248 pages with full-color reproductions depicting myriad species, from a speckled vulturine guineafowl and chromatic crimson rosella to a slender-beaked glossy ibis. Written by the museum’s special collections manager Andrea Hart and zoology librarian Ann Datta, the volume contains several previously unpublished works and is organized across five continents.

Birds of the World, which is published by Prestel, is scheduled for release this fall. Pre-order your copy on Bookshop.

 

a pink and green feathered birth with a long, slender beak

Glossy Ibis, Plegadis falcinellus, Plate 301, The Birds of Europe (1832–37)

Two images, both of a pair of vibrantly colored birds perched on branches

Left: Crimson Rosella, Platycercus elegans, Vol. 5, Plate 22, The Birds of Australia (1840–48). Right: Narina Trogon, Apaloderma narina, Plate 26, A Monograph of the Trogonidæ, or Family of Trogons (1835–38)

A pink cockatoo with red, orange, and yellow crest feathers

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Cacatua galerita, A Synopsis of the Birds of Australia, and the Adjacent Islands (1837–38)

Two birds with flared crests and green and blue iridescent feathers

Northern Lapwing, Vanellus vanellus, Plate 291, The Birds of Europe (1832–37)

Four images, from top left, a long-tailed blue bird with poofy crest, a brown and black bird, both plump, perch on a branch, two black and yellow birds rest on leafy twigs, and a brown owl with intense eyes stares to the left

Top left: Black-throated Magpie-Jay, Calocitta colliei, 1829, [No. 52], J & E Gould Drawings album, Natural
History Museum, London.  Bottom left: Eastern Shrike-tit, Falcunculus frontatus, Vol. 2, Plate 79, The Birds of Australia (1840–48). Top right: Blackbird, Turdus merula, Plate 72, The Birds of Europe (1832–37). Bottom right: Long-eared Owl, Asio otus, Plate 39, The Birds of Europe, (1832–37)

the Birds of the World book cover with two vibrant birds on the front

#birds
#books
#Elizabeth Gould
#lithographs

 

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