Library Catalog - Kentucky Historical Society

Object Record

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Object Name Print
Title Louisiana Heron
Catalog Number 1939.38.1
Creator Audubon, John James
Date 1834
Material(s) Paper
Dimensions H-28.5 W-39.5 inches
Description This is print number 44, Plate CCXVII, of the series Birds of America, depicting the Louisiana Heron. The tinted lithograph was made from a copperplate engraving and aquatint and was then colored by hand with watercolour. The image depicts the central figure of the Louisiana Heron on the banks of the bayou. The bird is depicted looking backwards toward its tail and the feathers have been colored in blue, gray and white. The background features the Louisiana bayou where you can see the banks of the bayou and trees such as palmettos in the background. The top left of the engraving bears the inscription "No 44." and the top right bears the inscription "PLATE CCXVII." Centered beneath the engraving is the inscription "Louisiana Heron, ARDEA LUDOVICIANA, Wils Male adult." On the bottom left of the engraving are the words "Drawn from Nature J.J. Audubon, F.R.S F.L.S" and on the bottom right are the words "Engraved, Printed, and Coloured by R. Havell, 1834."
Notes The Birds of America were drawn by John James Audubon when he was in his 30s. It was Audubon's intention to draw every bird in North America. He ran out of funds after he completed number 435. Audubon then sought to publish his work as a book and a print series. After exhibiting his drawings in Liverpool and Manchester, he journeyed to Edinburgh, where he met the engraver William H. Lizars. Lizars engraved up to ten of the first plates. In 1827, Audubon engaged the noted London animal engraver Robert Havell Sr. who was known for his natural history engravings. Robert Havell Sr. brought his son Robert Havell Jr. to the project and Robert Havell, Jr. did many of the engravings and oversaw the project through to its completion in 1838.

Media Links University of Pennsylvania article about Audubon's Birds of America
National Audubon Society's Website on Audubon's Birds of America
Biography of engraver Robert Havell, Jr.
Biography of John James Audubon from the National Audubon Society
Collection KHS Museum Collection
People Havell, Jr., Robert
Havell, Sr., Robert
Audubon, John James
Subjects Art
Search Terms Art
Natural Wonders
Physical Holder Kentucky Historical Society - KHS