Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Off the shelf: Lear 6

To finish off this set of Edward Lear drawings here’s a preparrotory study of Phyctolophus sulphurous – the Lesser Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (now a critically endangered species), done in September 1830 when Lear was 18 years old. The finished drawing was part of his ‘Illustrations of The Family of Psittacidae, Or Parrots,’ which took him two years to complete and was drawn directly onto lithographic stone. This series was compared favourably with Audubon and was an innovation at the time in that Lear drew the birds from life rather than from stuffed specimens; hence the evident parroty personality in this drawing.

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