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Woodcock - Scolopax rusticola
London 1832 - John Gould (1804-1881) A selection from Birds of Europe published in London 1832-37. Lithograph with original hand-coloring measuring 14 ½” x 21 ½” accompanied by corresponding natural history description written by John Gould. Condition: Very good. John Gould was without question the most prolific natural history artist of the nineteenth century. He worked during a period of intense fascination with discoveries in natural history, especially regarding knowledge of the wildlife of exotic lands. Gould shared the romantic enthusiasm of his time for such subjects, as well as the popular impulse to catalogue exotic wildlife. He combined his passion for natural history with outstanding scientific, artistic, and entrepreneurial talents. Drawing on these abilities, he embarked on a series of projects that would eventually make him the leading publisher of ornithological illustrations in Victorian Britain. Gould’s unparalleled career spanned five decades, and he produced a monumental series of books of birds throughout the world. Gould planned the Birds of Europe in an effort to redress the imbalance between the study of local and foreign ornithology. In his preface he stated his mission: “the Birds of Europe, in which we are, or ought to be, most interested, have not received that degree of attention which they naturally demand. The present work has been undertaken to supply that deficiency.” Gould portrayed birds native to Europe in a manner that had only been thought appropriate for the colorful species of distant places. In this way he managed to draw much popular interest back to native birds, which were suddenly considered equally beautiful to exotic species. Rich, vibrant color is an important attribute of the best 19th Century prints. Many prints by John Gould found on the market today have modern color that affects both the appearance and the value of these great works. John Gould died in 1881 still actively illustrating and producing fine bird books. His stock of unsold copies, unbound text and plates in various states, lithographic stones, drawings and paintings, amounted to nearly three tons. Many of the uncolored pulls from his monumental "Birds of Europe" have been recolored in the last thirty years, and these are often found on the market. Fortunately, the difference between original and modern color can be discerned by looking carefully at the print. When modern color is applied to 180 year old paper, the application is inconsistent; the cellulose of the aged paper has begun to breakdown and can no longer evenly absorb the watercolors, resulting in a splotchy uneven appearance All of the Gould bird prints in Arader Galleries' inventory have exquisite original color. The vastly superior quality of original color can be clearly differentiated from new color by its smooth and even appearance. The inks have noticeably deeper, richer tones. The difference can also be seen in the lovely surface "sheen" that results from the application of gum arabic when the lithograph was first pulled. The hand coloring of engravings and lithographs reached its zenith in the 19th Century. Works that still display their original color are more rewarding to view, and will better hold their value in the years to come. ***If you frame up this item with Arader Galleries you can take a 50% discount off the listed price of this work of art.***
      [Bookseller: Arader Galleries San Francisco]
Last Found On: 2014-12-26           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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