Happy Birthday to John James Audubon

April 26 marks the 226th birthday of ornithologist John James Audubon.

via HuffPost Tech:

Audubon’s seminal work, Birds of North America, featured 435 realistic life-sized painting of the wildlife he observed while traveling the continent. The project was so costly that the young naturalist traveled to Europe for funding and delivered for-pay lectures inFrance andBritain. Eleven years in the making, the catalogue was completed in 1838.

“These were the largest single sheets produced at the time,” Francis Wahlgren, the head of Christie’s books department in New York, told the New York Times. “You can almost feel the feathers on these birds […] These plates are the icons of ornithology.”

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