'The figure of this noble bird is well known throughout the civilized world, emblazoned as it is on our national standard, which waves in the breeze of every clime, bearing to distant lands the remembrance of a great people living in a state of peaceful freedom.'
John James Audubon
The painting above is part of water color painted by John Audubon entitled 'White-headed Eagle Male Adult'. The original painting contains the inscription 'Drawn from nature by John J. Audubon, Little Prairie, Mississippi River'.
John James Audubon (1785-1851), artist and naturalist, was born in what is now Haiti. At the age of 18 he was sent to the United States to enter business.
Although his business ventures were not successful his interest in birds and drawing increased. In 1820 he embarked upon a project that was to become his great work, the illustration of all North American birds.
In 1826 he took his drawings to England and his plates were published in The Birds of America (1827-1838) which contained 435 hand colored plates.
In 1839 he returned to live in New York where he prepared a smaller edition of The Birds of America (1840-1844) and began work on Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America, published in 1845-1846.
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