John James Audubon (1785 – 1851) – A dominant wildlife artist
John James Audubon, the popular painter and an American naturalist and ornithologist, was born in Les Cayes, Saint-Domingue, in the year 1785. This famous artist was the illegitimate son of Lieutenant Jean Audubon, a French naval officer and his mistress Jeanne Rabin. His father and his wife Anne legally adopted him in 1794 after returning to France. From a very young age, he had developed an interest in drawings birds. Due to his combined interest in ornithology and art, he made a complete record in researching North American Birds. John James Audubon used to make drawings and paintings of North American birds and got popular with his amazing work.
Life of John James Audubon:
John James Audubon was sent to the United States at the age of eighteen to enter the business and avoid any conscription. There he began his study on North American birds that lead him from Florida to Labrador. In his studies, Audubon has explained the birds in their natural habitats in detail. This artist is considered a pioneer, genius, and an amazing man whose actions reflect perfectly. He contributed his life and focused on art, ornithology, and culture.
One of the finest ornithological works that Audubon has completed is The Birds of America. In his research, he also found about twenty-five new species of birds in North America. Besides that, Audubon also operated a mine and a general store as his career. He also attempts to do many venture partnerships, but due to failure, the business ventures dissolved. To get a steady income for living and concentrate on his interest in drawing birds, he began pursuing many jobs by 1820. John James Audubon was married to Lucy Bakewell, who was an educator and philanthropist. They had four children’s named Victor Gifford Audubon, John Woodhouse Audubon, Lucy Audubon, and Rose Audubon.
Audubon started publishing his bird’s drawings in 1824. To find better and greater interest in bird’s subject, he sought a publisher in Europe after which his book was subscribed in London, and got published by Robert Havell, named- Birds of America, which was in four volumes; he followed it by several related works, which slowly made him popular and reputed.
He died in 1851 in New York City.
All about Birds of America:
At the age of forty-one, John James Audubon took his work to England, and his wife supported him greatly. With the best work collection, Audubon was able to grab the attention of the Englishmen. The Birds of America were his first successful publication which made him famous in the whole world. This popular book featured many North American bird species. After fourteen years of hard work, John James Audubon was able to get this remarkable accomplishment. He deeply researched and studied 435 birds, all on his own and made it noteworthy. The book contained the original drawings by Audubon and was the first publication that was made on birds. Some of the popular bird species mentioned in this book were Great Auk, Carolina Parakeet, Carolina Pigeon, Florid Jay, and much more.
Some other famous books which accompanied Birds of America were Ornithological Biography, A Synopsis of the Birds of North America and Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America.