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Mark Catesby's natural history of America : the watercolors from the Royal Library, Windsor Castle

Author: Henrietta McBurney; Windsor Castle. Royal Library.; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Publisher: London : Merrell Holberton, ©1997.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
The Natural History, the life work of the English naturalist and artist Mark Catesby (1682-1749), the most important precursor of Audubon, was twenty years in the making, from 1729 to 1749. It was the first comprehensive study of the flora and fauna of the eastern seaboard of North America, and its beautifully finished, often striking images remained an indispensable reference source throughout the century of its
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Genre/Form: Exhibitions
Pictorial works Exhibitions
Pre-Linnean works Exhibitions
Named Person: Mark Catesby; Mark Catesby; Mark Catesby
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Henrietta McBurney; Windsor Castle. Royal Library.; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
ISBN: 1858940389 9781858940380
OCLC Number: 37217423
Notes: Catalog of a traveling exhibition organized by the Royal Library, Windsor Castle in conjunction with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Description: 160 pages : illustrations (some color), map ; 30 cm
Contents: Preface / Oliver Everett --
"The Perfecting of Natural History": Mark Catesby's Drawings of American Flora and Fauna in the Royal Library, Windsor Castle / Amy R.W. Meyers --
The Windsor Volumes / Henrietta McBurney --
Note on the Natural History Albums of Sir Hans Sloane / Henrietta McBurney --
Catalogue / Henrietta McBurney. I. Birds (1-17). II. Fishes (18-23). III. Crabs, Turtles and Corals (24-26). IV. Snakes, Lizards and Frogs (27-35). V. Mammals (36-38). VI. Insects (39-40). VII. Plants (41-52).
Responsibility: Henrietta McBurney ; with an introductory essay by Amy R.W. Meyers.

Abstract:

The Natural History, the life work of the English naturalist and artist Mark Catesby (1682-1749), the most important precursor of Audubon, was twenty years in the making, from 1729 to 1749. It was the first comprehensive study of the flora and fauna of the eastern seaboard of North America, and its beautifully finished, often striking images remained an indispensable reference source throughout the century of its publication.

Published here for the first time are the original watercolors from which Catesby prepared the etchings which accompanied his published volumes.

Having been stored away from the light between the pages of a unique copy of the book in the Royal Library at Windsor, which King George III bought in 1768, they are wonderfully fresh, and communicate all the enthusiasm of the pioneer naturalist amazed by the colors and variety of the new species of birds, fish, mammals, reptiles, insects and plants he was documenting (some of them now extinct).

The watercolors have recently undergone conservation at the Royal Library and selections are being exhibited at several international venues. The conservation has brought to light many new drawings illustrating Catesby's working methods, and Henrietta McBurney's research sheds valuable new light on Catesby and the composition of his epochal Natural History.

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