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John James Audubon Essay

1008 words - 5 pages

John James Audubon

John James Audubon is best known for Birds of America, portraits of every bird then known in the United States drawn and sculpted in the size of life. Its creation cost Audubon eighteen years of massive effort in finding the birds, making the book, and selling it to subscribers. One of the greatest nature artists and writers Audubon was born on April 26, 1785, in Haiti. His mother died of an infection almost instantly after giving birth to Audubon. Audubon and his half sister were then adopted by his new wife Ann Moynet Audubon. As a child, Audubon studied at a naval academy in France, before his father realized his liking for the outdoors and the details around ...view middle of the document...

Over the next several years Audubon traveled around finishing more drawings for his immense work. His family moved back to Kentucky, and Lucy began teaching to help support them.
Audubon traveled to Philadelphia to look into publishing his works in 1824; he was not well received in Philadelphia, which forced him to travel to England to find the necessary skill and technology to publish his life’s work. He did, however, publish papers in the Lyceum Society Annals, including one on the migratory patterns of swallows, something he had researched closely while living in Louisville. Two years later Audubon was prepared to leave for England; he sailed on April 25, arriving in Liverpool in July. Over the next year Audubon traveled throughout England and Scotland exhibiting his paintings and soliciting subscriptions for his Birds of America.
After many attempts to find someone to publish his work Audubon met Robert Havell Sr. in London in 1827. With the help of his son Havell agreed to finish Birds of America. Audubon decided to return to the United States with the dual purpose of appeasing his wife and collecting more specimens to make his book more exhaustive. This time he would travel down the East Coast into the Florida Keys, drawing waterfowl along the way. He returned to America in 1831, making his way down the coast through South Carolina. In Charleston he met the Reverend John Bachman, who would become a lifelong friend. After Audubon finished one of his most famous pieces if art Birds of America, he and Bachman began a work cataloging the land mammals of North America.
Audubon collected his family from Louisiana, where Lucy had been teaching, and moved to New York. Audubon then took a trip to Canada, to search for more species to paint and returned to England with his family to observe Havell’s work and to add more subscriptions to his list. Once back in England, Audubon found William MacGillivray to...

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