New York: V.G. Audubon, 1849-54. First Royal Octavo Edition. Matted in Ivory Rag Board, 12 x 16 inches. A fine original hand-colored lithograph on paper. Royal Octavo (10.5 x 7 inches). Drawn from nature by John Audubon, drawn on stone by William E. Hitchcock and lithographed, printed and colored by JT Bowen, Philadelphia. Accompanied by the original text written by the Reverend John Bachman, DD.
The Quadrupeds of North America; portrayals of 155 four-legged mammals native to North America depicted in their natural environment, was a collaborative effort between the premier nineteenth century American Ornithologist, Naturalist, Artist and Frontiersman, John James Audubon (1785-1851), his sons John Woodhouse Audubon and Victor Gifford Audubon and the Naturalist Reverend John Bachman. The four men were unified in their desire to document and portray what they recognized as a dwindling resource; America's native animals amidst the natural beauty of the untouched American landscape. Their collective wisdom predicted the impending effects of Manifest Destiny- man's encroachment on the wilderness and natural landscape of North America- and as such was the impetus for the journey.
To document and then portray America's native animals in the splendor and majesty of the uninhabited North American landscape, the team traveled westward from Audubon's home in Mill Grove, Pennsylvania up the Missouri River and through territory just previously explored by Lewis and Clark; from the Canadian border of the Northern Russian Territories- now Alaska- then southward to Mexico. Arduous and monumental, the journey is recognised in the pathos of the compositions. However, the true legacy of the work rests on John James Audubon's prolific vision and mastery of his subject and medium.
Heretofore unseen, The Quadrupeds of North American is a wildlife classic: an essential and timeless contribution to both American Culture and the Art of American Wildlife Painting. The American Review, a Whig journal, heralded the national origin of the Quadrupeds: "We have at last have a Great National Work, originated and completed among us- authors, artists and artisans of which are our own citizens, the Bible of Nature!" (John James Audubon in the West. New York: Henry H. Abrams, 2000). Sabin 2368. Wood 208. Fine with original hand-coloring. Item #4367