EDWARD LEAR: THE PARROTS: The Complete Plates


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EDWARD LEAR: THE PARROTS: The Complete Plates

FRANCESCO SOLINAS    Book Number: 84169    Product format: Hardback

The Black-Tailed parakeet with its beautiful yellow, red and green plumage or New Holland parakeets with crests and rouged cheeks, the rainbow coloured Stanley parakeet, almost iridescent and captured by the artist, perched on a black and white branch, a technique used throughout this gallery of avian beauty, we admire the feathered textures and astonishing natural beauty of the Hyacinthine macaw, numerous cockatoos, and variegated parakeets. Edward Lear (1812-1888) may be best known for his nonsense verse, but in his early years he excelled as an illustrator of birds and reptiles. This set of 42 hand-coloured lithographs from 1830-1832, originally entitled Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidae, or Parrots, was the finest achievement of his relatively brief career as a natural history draftsman, before failing eyesight led him to concentrate on his writing. During Lear's time, live parrots were rare and much sought-after, bought and sold for large sums by wealthy amateurs of natural history, and prized by 19th century European aristocracy for their astonishing plumage and mimicry of the human voice. Naturally, fine drawings of them were also highly prized. One of the first collections entirely dedicated to the species, 'Parrots' includes African, Australian, and American parrots bred by eminent ornithologists such as Sir William Jardine and Prideaux John Selby, who sponsored Lear, inspiring and directing his work. Unlike other avian illustrators who often worked with stuffed birds, the young and prodigiously talented Lear made his drawings from live parrots, capturing their expressions and movements in remarkably lifelike illustrations. The new medium of hand-coloured lithography facilitated the vivid elegance of Lear's work. This exquisite collection was originally reproduced in only 175 precious copies and sold by subscription to Britain's most eminent scholars and wealthy collectors of living parrots. One extant copy our editor has pored over at Eton College. The 'Psittacidae' established Lear as a celebrated illustrator, and professor of drawing to the young Queen Victoria. With a brief zoological introduction and written descriptions of each bird, this title revives Taschen's XL-sized edition to a more accessible, optimized format, bringing Lear's parrots back to life for all to admire. Dripping in colour. 24 x 32.7 cm, 152 pages. Text in English, French and German. New from Taschen.
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Bibliophile price: £30.00


Additional product information

ISBN 9783836569088
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