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Golden Eagle, female

Selby, Prideaux John (1788-1867)

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From Arader Galleries - Aradernyc (New York, NY, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since December 2, 2005

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About this Item

Considered by many as the English equivalent of Audubon, Prideaux John Selby created some of the most memorable bird images of the nineteenth century. His contributions to British ornithology were rivaled only by those of John Gould, and yet his images were on a larger scale and less purely scientific, exhibiting Selby's distinctive and charming style. A sense for Selby's enthusiasm for his subjects is nowhere more palpable than in his engaging original watercolors. Selby executed these delightful images as preparatory models for his landmark printed series, Illustrations of British Ornithology. While the artist's engraved work is itself highly desirable to collectors, Selby's original watercolors almost never become available. This selection of watercolors, moreover, comprises several of his masterpieces. The distinctive birds are depicted in profile, their forms delineated by softly modulated tones of black and gray wash, while the setting, if present, is lightly but skillfullypainted in order not to distract from the birds themselves. The skill and delicacy of Selby's touch, his keen powers of observation, and his artistic sensitivity are conveyed here in a way they are not in his printed work. Several of the drawings are by Selby's brother-in-law, Robert Mitford, but are signed in Selby's hand.Born in Northumberland and educated at University College, Oxford, Selby was a landowner and squire with ample time to devote to the study of the plant and animal life at his country estate, Twizell House. As a boy, he had studied the habits of local birds, drawn them, and learned how to preserve and set up specimens. Later, Selby became an active member of several British natural history societies and contributed many articles to their journals. Although Selby was interested in botany and produced a History of British Trees in 1842, he is best known for his Illustrations of British Ornithology, the first attempt to produce a set of life-sized illustrations of British birds, remarkable for their naturalism and the delicacy of their execution. Issued in nineteen parts over thirteen years, the book consisted of 89 plates of land birds and 129 plates of water birds, engraved by William Lizars of Edinburgh, the printer who engraved the first ten plates of Audubon's Birds of America. These exquisite watercolors, with their exceptionally rich detail and tonal range, are beautiful works by one of the foremost British bird painters. Furthermore, they represent a singular opportunity to obtain unique work of the highest quality by this luminary artist, from an era in British ornithological art that remains unparalled. Watercolor, gouache, grey and brown washes Signed lower right: PJ Selby Size: Unframed: 20 3/4 x 15". Bookseller Inventory # 100009D

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Golden Eagle, female

Binding: No Binding

Book Condition:Please Contact Seller

Book Type: Book

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Arader Galleries has specialized in the field of color plate books and early works on paper for over thirty years. The size and quality of our inventory is second to no other dealer. We are committed building the finest art and book collections for our clients. We would be delighted to answer any questions you may have about any of the books listed on ABE or meet you at our Galleries in New York.

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