Eclectus Roratus Polychloros

Edward Lear British

Not on view

Known as a landscape painter and a writer of nonsense verse, Lear began his career as an ornithological draftsman. This work records male and female Eclectus parrots, a species native to Australia, New Guinea, and Indonesia. The bird is unique for its distinct plumage-predominantly green in males, red and blue in females. The design was made for one of the lithographs in "Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidae, or Parrots," the first book devoted to a single bird species, which the artist published between 1830 and 1832. Preparatory to making the prints, Lear sketched live specimens and bird skins at the London Zoological Society, then transferred selected images to lithographic stones for printing. The final step was to color the prints by hand.

Eclectus Roratus Polychloros, Edward Lear (British, London 1812–1888 San Remo), Watercolor and  gouache (bodycolor) over graphite or chalk

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