Unattributed. [Kingfishers by the school of John Gould]. From one of the many sets of exotic bird prints.
London: Gould, 1860s-80s. No imprint. Folio (but cut down to royal quarto size). Lithograph. Original hand coloring. Full margins.
John Gould (1804-1881) was one of the most respected and prolific ornithologists of all time. During his lifetime, he produced over 5000 different bird prints which covered most of the globe (Australia to England to Africa to the United States). His prints are noted for their particularly realistic and accurate appearance while preserving much of the artistic style that was prevalent during the time. He was able to achieve this through his years of ornithological study as well as through being a well-trained artist. Along with Gould, several other excellent artists worked on his prints, including Henry C. Richter, William Hart, Josef Wolf, and Gould's wife Elizabeth. Often, Gould gave the artists who worked with him sketches of the birds in their natural habitats, which these artists then finished and drew them onto the lithographic stones, hand-coloring each print once it was finished. For their naturalism and vibrant hand-coloring, Gould's prints are some of the most beautiful bird prints ever produced, and this is a fine example of his work.