Art

The Family of Hummingbirds: The Complete Prints of John Gould

For all the bird lovers, the definitive collection of hummingbird illustrations by 19th-century naturalist painter John Gould, the "British Audubon".

This sublime collection of 418 superbly detailed hand-colored lithographs of hummingbirds, created by John Gould, the “British Audubon,” in the mid-1800s, represents all the known species at that time and is the most complete ever produced of hummingbirds. Unlike John James Audubon, whose work focused on the avifauna of a single country, Gould’s folios illustrate species from around the world. His original set of folios—Family of Humming-Birds—reproduced here in its entirety, depicts the magnificent jewel-like birds together with botanicals native to their habitats in the most remote and exotic ecosystems of the Americas.

In her essay for the book, co-author Laura Oppenheimer tells the story of Gould’s colorful life and places his work in the context of a remarkable period when exploration and classification of the world’s natural wonders was at the forefront of scientific discovery and universally celebrated in Victorian popular culture. Joel Oppenheimer details how Gould created the prints and presents an overview of nineteenth-century printmaking and lithography techniques. He also unravels the mystery behind the gold-leaf process that Gould employed to portray the iridescent quality of the hummingbirds’ plumage, resolving a long-standing controversy regarding who should be credited for its invention. This Family of Hummingbirds will delight birdwatchers, fans of natural history art, and hummingbird lovers everywhere.

About The Author

Joel and Laura Oppenheimer are the owners of this eponymous firm that serves as both a gallery and an art restoration workshop, with one location in Chicago's famed Wrigley building and another in Charleston on historic King Street. Founded in 1969, Oppenheimer Gallery specializes in natural history art. Oppenheimer Gallery is one of the preeminent dealers of Audubon watercolors and facsimile prints and works in partnerships with museums across the country including the New-York Historical Society.
Robert Peck, curator of art and artifacts and senior fellow of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, Philadelphia, is a writer, naturalist, and historian who has traveled extensively in North and South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. Peck is the author of many books including Land of the Eagle: A Natural History of North America (1990); Headhunters and Hummingbirds: An Expedition into Ecuador (1987); and A Celebration of Birds: The Life and Art of Louis Agassiz Fuertes (1982).

  • Publish Date: October 30, 2018
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Art - Subjects & Themes - Plants & Animals
  • Publisher: Rizzoli Electa
  • Trim Size: 9 x 12
  • Pages: 304
  • US Price: $65.00
  • CDN Price: $85.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-6065-4

Reviews

"A sublime collection of 418 suberbly detailed hand-colored lithographs created by John Gould from the mid-1800s...If you're a fan of natural history art, hummingbirds, or birds in general - this unrivaled master collection of antique prints is definitely a piece you'd want to add to your collection. " —Color Outside the Lines