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The bird illustrated, 1550-1900 : from the collections of the New York Public Library

Author: Joseph Kastner; Roger Tory Peterson; Miriam T Gross; Philip Pocock; New York Public Library.
Publisher: New York : H.N. Abrams, 1988.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Man's fascination with birds, the only other two-legged creature on earth, goes back to drawings scratched into the walls of prehistoric caves in France and Spain, carved on Paleolithic bones, or painted in Egyptian tombs. As Roger Tory Peterson writes in his introduction, whatever this attraction is, the desire to observe, record, and study birds has occupied men for millennia. As early as 1551 that study had  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Biography
History
Pictorial works
Biographies
Illustrated works
Pictorial works Catalogs
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Kastner, Joseph.
Bird illustrated, 1550-1900.
New York : H.N. Abrams, 1988
(OCoLC)644612436
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Joseph Kastner; Roger Tory Peterson; Miriam T Gross; Philip Pocock; New York Public Library.
ISBN: 0810907461 9780810907461
OCLC Number: 16404499
Description: 127 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 29 cm
Contents: An aviary of illustrations --
Predators --
Game birds --
Waders --
Birds of field and woodland --
Swimmers --
Exotic birds.
Responsibility: introduction by Roger Tory Peterson ; text by Joseph Kastner ; with commentaries by Miriam T. Gross ; [photographs by Philip Pocock].

Abstract:

"Man's fascination with birds, the only other two-legged creature on earth, goes back to drawings scratched into the walls of prehistoric caves in France and Spain, carved on Paleolithic bones, or painted in Egyptian tombs. As Roger Tory Peterson writes in his introduction, whatever this attraction is, the desire to observe, record, and study birds has occupied men for millennia. As early as 1551 that study had found its way into the printed book with the publication of an eight-hundred page volume on birds in Conrad Gesner's encyclopedia Historiae animalium. From that moment, books on ornithology cam in increasing numbers, written and illustrated by a breed of watchers whose patience, skills, and courage in the field were a tribute to their dedication. Some of them are especially well-known to us today--John Gould, John James Audubon, Edward Lear and Josef Wolf. But countless others achieved fame and made us increasingly familiar with the marvelous ways of birds: Ulisse Aldrovandi in Italy; Pierre Bélon, Le Comte de Buffon in France, Moritz Borkhausen in Germany; Cornelius Nozeman in the Netherlands; Theodor Pleske in Russia; Philipp Franz von Siebold in Japan; John Ray, Thomas Bewick in England; and in America Alexander Wilson, Mark Catesby, Titian Ramsey Peale. The Bird Illustrated: 1550-1900 is a pictorial celebration of these pioneers based on the superb collections of the New York Public Library. Nature lovers and art lovers alike are treated to an unsurpassed bibliographic aviary chose from the Library's rare and historic books. Rendered in woodcut, engraving, or lithograph, and hand-colored or printed, the originals are beautifully reproduced in 45 full-color plates and 54 duo-tone photographs. All manner of birds flutter and strut across these pages: falcons and pheasants; nightingales, kingfishers, swallows, and sparrows; grebes and gulls; cockatoos, toucans, and resplendent hummingbirds, once described as "flying jewels." There is Edward Lear's wonderfully grotesque flamingo; John Gould's "Darwin" finch drawn by his wife, Elizabeth; Alexander Wilson's American Bald Eagle drawn against the setting Niagara Falls, where he watched the bird in flight. There are portraits as exotic as fantastic birds of paradise and as ordinary as Bewick's barnyard rooster, and as curious as the disappearing Dodo ("that extraordinary production of nature"). Here is the history of the Barnacle Goose, which was once thought to have actually hatched from barnacles. And here are the stories of ornithologists navigating the frigid water-ways of Patagonia to observe penguins, braving the spears of suspicious aborigines, or walking out to their own backyard to hear a cardinal sing in order to explore and record the avian world. In his engaging and colorful text, Joseph Kastner brings to life these valued tomes, and in doing so pays glowing homage to the ornithologists who studied them. Complementing the illustrations are description captions by Miriam Gross of the New York Public Library, relating life cycles of the many birds surveyed here as well as the artistic techniques used to depict them. In the mid-1500s, When Ulisse Aldrovandi was asked why he chose to compile his natural history of birds, he explained the task was "accompanied with the most exquisite gratification and astonishment." He may have been speaking for those readers today who, in The Bird Illustrated, have an opportunity to experience that same satisfaction." -- Provided by publisher

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