John James Audubon
More lists with this book...
This book was given to me by a friend almost a year ago, and it took me this long to give it the attention it deserved. The biography covers the life - and times - of John James Audubon, author and illustrator of the "Birds of ...more
John James Audubon produced his paintings of the birds of America by killing, skinning and dissecting thousands of them. Those astonishing images of birds full of life -- flying, fighting, mating, preening, feeding their young -- were achieved by mounting dead birds on a contraption of his own devising: ''Sharpened wires embedded in a board onto which he could impale his fresh specimens in lifelike attitudes,'' as Richard Rhodes de ...more
* Unlike many of the gentlemen naturalists of the Royal Society (as described in The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science), or such Victorian era scientists as Charles Darwin, John James Audubon was not monied, and both he and his devoted wife Lucy worked hard most of their lives.
* Rhodes makes a strong case that Audubon was a good businessman and a ...more
This was a wonderful book about an intriguing man, his family, and also, in some ways, about the chang ...more
It's also interesti ...more
The diligence, energy, and passion Audubon had for his desire to document the birds of America is astounding and probably difficult to find in many others in our present technological age.
The author of this book unearths interesting facts and excerpts from Audubon's journals throughout the book. I really enjoyed the thoroughness of t ...more
This is a fine, well written account of this life, and I ...more
I very much enjoyed this biography of John James Audubon. Richard Rhodes quotes at length from Audubon's journal and many letters, so I came away with a much better idea of who Audubon was and how he saw the world, especially his beloved birds.
"The Birds of America" is Audubon's most famous and important work, and his efforts collecting specimens, preparing drawings, and marketing the book provided an excellent framework for tying the whole ...more
Rhodes has provided a thorough picture of Audubon's development, marriage, artistic methods and problems, and the huge problem of getting the drawings published - with the involved financial difficulties which even trailed down decades into the last ...more
Given the artist's talent, we c ...more
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb comes a far different story about the intersection of innovation and death__Audubon had to kill his subjects, after all, to illustrate them. Critics differ in opinion about Rhodes's newest effort. Rhodes certainly offers a compelling and complex portrait of Audubon's place in antebellum America and constant desire to reinvent himself. Rhodes also raises timeless issues about the value of nature, family, and fame; he never lo...more