The Birds of America  

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The Birds of America (Color lithographic plate 321) (1836) - John James Audubon
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The Birds of America (Color lithographic plate 321) (1836) - John James Audubon

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Birds of America is the title of a book by naturalist and painter John James Audubon, containing paintings and scientific description of a wide variety of birds of the United States. It was first published as a series of sections between 1827 and 1838.

The work consists of hand-colored, life-size prints made from engraved plates measuring around 39 by 26 inches. The original edition was engraved in aquatint by Robert Havell Sr. and son, Robert Havell Jr.; known as the "Double Elephant folio", it is often regarded as the greatest picture book ever produced. A copy in excellent condition sold at Christie's in March of 2000 for $8,802,500, is still as of 2007 a world record for any printed book.

All 435 of John James Audubon's known extant watercolors preparatory for Birds of America are housed at the New-York Historical Society in New York City. There are 119 complete copies of the Double Elephant Folio in existence today; less than a dozen of these are in private hands.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Birds of America" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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