Prints » John Gould » Edward Lear

In 1832, the young Edward Lear decided to combine his interests in ornithology and in art, and produced one of the earliest British ornithological works. He illustrated it with his own coloured plates, in the fairly new medium of lithography. When the budding ornithological publisher John Gould saw Lear's "Illustration of the Family of Psittacidae or Parrots", he not only employed Lear for his own works, he adopted Lear's method and style. Gould's early works, therefore, are vary pared-down, with virtually no background. This places the whole emphasis of the image on the bird portrayed. With Lear's hand at the lithographic stone, such an idiom works extremely well as he puts so much expression into his creations.


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