In this post we are carrying on our Affordable Art series with a focus on prints depicting wildlife, and in particular, a series of prints of parrots done by a French artist in the 19th century. Read more below to learn about the history of Animalia prints, the artist Jacques Barraband, and how these prints work brilliantly in all different types of interiors.
The tradition of creating studies of wildlife–both flora and fauna–for printed publications dates back several centuries. In fact, depictions of wildlife can be seen on the earliest cave paintings. The depictions of animals throughout the years is particularly fascinating.
Take Albrecht Dürer, one of the most renowned artist and theorists of the German Renaissance. He executed a woodcut of a rhinoceros based on a written description and a basic sketch of the animal by an unknown artist. From this sparse information alone, and without ever seeing the animal himself, Dürer created one of the most celebrated woodcuts in 151 that is still widely published today. Despite being printed in large quantities, there are very few extant impressions surviving. One such print sold at Christie’s in 2013 for $866,500.
Today we are focusing on a series of illustrations executed by Jacques Barraband (1767-1809). Barraband was one of the most highly regarded natural history artist of his time and was known for his lifelike renderings of tropical birds. Napoleon Bonaparte commissioned Barraband to create a series of watercolours highlighting different species of birds and flowers, and one of these publications was entitled Historie Naturelle des Perroquets, or Natural History of Parrots.
Lord McAlpine of West Green (1942-2014) had the origins in his collection, and in 1989, a limited edition re-print of the original from his collection was produced in association with David Attenborough and Graeme Phipps, Curator of Birds at Tarongo Zoo, Sydney.
You can see a selection of the prints from this publication in our collection below.
Displaying Wildlife Prints in Interiors
Prints of wildlife are the perfect way to decorate your interior, whether you have a large space or a small nook in your hallway. Prints can be grouped together or shown individually, and they can be arranged in a variety of ways. We have gathered a selection of our favourite rooms featuring prints of birds.