Golden Eagle by John James Audubon art print

Brandywine General Store

SKU: 181 audubon

An archival premium Quality Art Print of the Golden Eagle by John James Audubon for sale by Brandywine General Store. The artwork shows the golden eagle flying over cold icy peaks, clutching a Northern Hare in its strong talons. In the original water color by Audubon, there is a hunter crossing the log over the icy ravine, with a rifle and an eagle slung over his shoulder. This hunter is thought to be a self portrait of the artist. However, when Mr. Havell engraved this painting for the book, this figure was omitted from the plates. No one knows if this was simply an error, or if Mr. Audubon had him to erase the man. This bird is an adult female, probably taking this rabbit to her brood. The Eagle is crowded in this picture, Audubon fills all the space he can on the paper, so he has to draw this large bird in a crunched up pose. The reason for this is, Mr. Audubon drew all his birds to scale, so since an adult eagle is so large, he simply ran out of room on his sketching paper. I have added an inch or two around the outer edges of the picture. Audubon was in awe of this eagle, a friend of his in Boston had caught this large specimen in a trap and he bought the eagle from him. He was tempted to let the eagle go, but in the end decided that he had to have the bird dead so he could paint it for his epic ornithology book, The Birds of North America. This majestic bird was plate or picture number 181 in the 1st Havell edition and of course now the Eagle is the National Bird of the United States. At one point in the last century, the eagles were almost extinct birds, however due to conservation efforts, the eagles are now getting more and more plentiful.

Aquila Chrysaetos - Audubon says the following of this specimen that he acquired and painted "I must acknowledge that as I watched his eye, and observed his looks of proud disdain, I felt towards him not so generously as I ought to have done, At times I was half inclined to restore to him his freedom, that he might return to his native mountains; nay, I several times thought how pleasing it would be to see him spread out his broad wings and sail away towards the rocks of his wild haunts; but then, reader, some one seemed to whisper that I ought to take the portrait of the magnificent bird; and I abandoned the more generous design of setting him at liberty, for the express purpose of shewing you his semblance.” One of the most famous of all of Audubon's works of art. Audubon bird print #181


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