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    Edward Lear (1812-1888). Palæornis Melanura - Black-tailed Parrakeet.

    A wonderful and sharply-detailed hand-colored lithograph from Lear's Illustrations of the Family Psittacidae, or Parrots (London: 1830-1832). In excellent condition except for faint browning to the edges and some light foxing. Minor surface loss to reverse where mounting tape was removed. Light penciled notations. 13.75 x 20.5 inches.


    More Information: Edward Lear (1812-1888), though best-known today as a writer of nonsense verse, is also, in the estimation of many, considered "perhaps the best of all bird painters" (Sitwell). Born in North London (the twentieth child of his parents!), Lear taught himself to draw from nature. By the age of only nineteen he had produced and distributed his amazing and innovative Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidae, or Parrots for his small subscriber list of 175. He worked for John Gould for several years, contributing much to his Birds of Europe and greatly influencing Gould's later works (Gould, for instance, adopted Lear's medium of hand-colored lithographs printed on large folio paper). Lear's art was markedly different from other bird artists of the time in that he drew from living specimens, a practice which gave his birds liveliness and distinctive character. As Lear's eyesight grew worse, he concentrated on the nonsensical verse for which he is primarily known today, but the sheer mastery and beauty of his bird illustration can not be overstated.

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    Auction Dates
    June, 2009
    16th-17th Tuesday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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