Sunday, January 24, 2010

John Audubon

John Audubon visited Walter Scott on January 24, 1827, as recorded in his journal:

Visit from Mr. Audubon, who brings some of his birds. The drawings are of the first order—the attitudes of the birds of the most animated character, and the situations appropriate; one of a snake attacking a bird's nest, while the birds (the parents) peck at the reptile's eyes—they usually, in the long-run, destroy him, says the naturalist. The feathers of these gay little sylphs, most of them from the Southern States, are most brilliant, and are represented with what, were it [not] connected with so much spirit in the attitude, I would call a laborious degree of execution. This extreme correctness is of the utmost consequence to the naturalist, [but] as I think (having no knowledge of virtu), rather gives a stiffness to the drawings.

Like Scott, Audubon found an interest early in life, and found an outlet by which to develop that interest.  According to the audubon.org website:

Audubon was born in Saint Domingue (now Haiti), the illegitimate son of a French sea captain and plantation owner and his French mistress. Early on, he was raised by his stepmother, Mrs. Audubon, in Nantes, France, and took a lively interest in birds, nature, drawing, and music.

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