The Birds of America
PHOTOby presents fine-art prints on matte paper, reproductions of watercolors from the book The Birds of America, by the American ornithologist, naturalist and painter Jean-Jacques Audubon (1785-1851), and published between 1827 and 1838. The original size of the book is about 96x66cm. About the book The Birds of America: The book is considered one of the most expensive book in publishing history. In 2010, one of the few copies belonging to private collections was sold for 8.6 million euros at an auction organized by Sotheby's in London. Another copy had already been sold for 7 million euros in 2000. From 1820 onwards, J.J. Audubon travelled the United States to paint ornithological plates of numerous species of birds, discovering 23 species in the process. The result is 435 watercolors, which are of great scientific interest, but are also noted for their artistic qualities. The birds are depicted in life size, making The Birds of America the largest antique illustrated book in the world (double-elephant-folio format, about 96 × 66 cm). These watercolors were engraved by Robert Havell Sr. and Robert Havell Jr. using the aquatint process, and the plates were colored by hand. The Birds of America was published in London, in 4 volumes, from 1827 to 1838. It was printed in 200 copies. Today, only 119 complete copies remain (108 of which are preserved in public institutions), the others having been dispersed during the separate sale of the engravings.