John James Audubon (1785–1851).
The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and their Territories.
New York: J. J. Audubon; Philadelphia: J. B. Chevalier, 1840–1844.
Volume 1 and Volume 5 of seven volumes.
Audubon, whose name is now synonymous with the study and preservation of wildlife, was born at Les Cayes, Haiti, and raised in France. He studied painting under the French Neo-classical painter Jacques-Louis David, then settled in Philadelphia, where he pursued his studies of nature. His masterpiece, the famous double-elephant folio Birds of America, comprised 435 hand-colored lithographs published between 1827 and 1838. The smaller octavo format Birds of America, subsequently issued in seven volumes, contains the original set of designs traced onto smaller plates, with an additional sixty-five new plates. This later edition constituted the most extensive publication of color plates up to that time and is still admired today for its descriptive notes and scientific arrangement.