Birds: the art of ornithology.

Birds: the art of ornithology. Jonathan Elphick, Robert Prys-Jones.

London: Scriptum Editions, (2008. reprint). Small octavo, colour illustrations, fine copy in dustwrapper.

This beautiful small format book tells the story of the development of bird art through the ages. It ranges from the early decorative but often fanciful images of birds, through more accurate portrayals resulting from exploration and an increasing knowledge of the worlds avifauna, to modern attempts at capturing the essence of these, the freest of all creatures. This book contains an outstanding selection of images from the unrivalled collection of the Natural History Museum, some of which have never been reproduced before, and includes exquisitely crafted works from some of the most famous natural history artists. The lively text interweaves fascinating ornithological information with accounts of the lives of the artists, details of the development of the techniques they used and a critical appraisal of their achievements.

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