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John James Audubon

Roseate Spoonbill, John James Audubon

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American White Pelican, John James Audubon

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Carolina Parrots, John James Audubon

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Green Heron, John James Audubon

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American Flamingo By John James Audubon

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Brown Pelican By John James Audubon

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Osprey By John James Audubon

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Great Blue Heron By John James Audubon

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Snowy Heron By John James Audubon

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Arctic Tern By John James Audubon

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Gyrfalcon By John James Audubon

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Crested Grebe By John James Audubon

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Baltimore Oriole By John James Audubon

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Great Horned Owl By John James Audubon

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Belted Kingfisher By John James Audubon

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Hooping Crane By John James Audubon

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Blue Jay By John James Audubon

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Red Breasted Nuthatch By John James Audubon

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Ivory Billed Woodpecker By John James Audubon

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Red Winged Blackbird By John James Audubon

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John James Audubon was an American ornithologist, naturalist, and painter. He was notable for his extensive studies documenting all types of American birds and for his detailed illustrations that depicted the birds in their natural habitat. All of our art pieces portray a colourful assortment of birds, mammals, and flora from across the American continent. It is through these works of art that Audubon's life work became known to the world - an exhibition of the beauty and diversity of nature.

Early Life

John James Audubon was an American artist born on April 26, 1785. He was born in Santo Domingo (present-day Haiti), the illegitimate son of a French merchant and a Creole maid. When he was four years old, he relocated to France to live with his father and stepmother. There, he studied geography, mathematics, and fencing. He avoided conscription into Napoleon’s army by moving to the United States and becoming a citizen in 1803. He was best known for his lively illustrations of birds. Audubon had an interest in birds at an early age and would often explore the outdoors and collect birds’ nests and eggs.

Audubon and Birds

Birds were the focus of John James Audubon’s artistic career. His representation of birds was true to life. He often painted the animals that he saw life-size. So he painted hummingbirds small. With pristine detail of the animals, Audubon revolutionised naturalist illustration. Audubon kept a full record of the birds he sketched out, from how they moved to what their eggs looked like. He also eventually ate the birds he caught to paint and noted their tastes.

Audubon travelled as far as the north of Canada and down south to the Florida Keys to study and draw birds. He once said, “I never for a day gave up listening to the songs of our birds, or watching their peculiar habits, or delineating them in the best way I could.” For The Birds of America, Audubon created about 435 plates and forty percent of those are seabirds, shorebirds, and waterbirds.

While capturing and illustrating birds was Audubon’s first love, he did illustrate various other animals from the wild. These include turtles, dolphins, barracuda, sharks.

Later Years

John James Audubon’s commitment to being a naturalist won him fame and favour from American presidents. Audubon travelled often and, in total, he crossed the ocean twelve times to reach England, France, and North America. John James Audubon died in 1851 from Alzheimer’s disease. He was 65 years old. At the time, he had been working on Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America, his second volume on North American mammals.  

Reference List

http://www.artnet.com/artists/john-james-audubon/

https://www.nga.gov/collection/artist-info.122.html

https://www.myddoa.com/artists/john-james-audubon/

https://hakaimagazine.com/features/audubon-at-sea/

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