John James Audubon, known both for his romantic life and his superb prints, is the most famous of all American natural history artists. For his pioneering travel around the United States in search of new subjects in the wild, his lifelike and dramatic style, and his monumental works on the birds and quadrupeds of North America, Audubon is, perhaps, also the greatest American natural history artist. In 1827 Audubon began to issue the prints from the first edition of his monumental The Birds of America, which when completed ran to a total of 435 double elephant folio prints. The following prints are from this edition.
Because of the continued strong demand for the prints, a second edition of Audubon's work was begun in 1860. Published in New York, these prints were lithographs printed in color, a relatively new and expensive process at the time. With the disruptions caused by the Civil War, this edition was never completed, and so these prints are even rarer than those of the first edition. As the first totally American Audubon prints, matching those of the first edition in beauty and drama, these are wonderful pieces of American history. The following prints are from this edition.
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