Bringing Nature Indoors: Wildlife Prints for your Interiors

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.

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Detail of a print by Jacques Barraband
 Mackinnon Fine Furniture Collection

Wildlife Prints

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.

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Albrecht Dürer, The Rhinoceros
woodcut at the British Museum

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.

Jacques Barraband

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The Blue-Capped Parrot from Jacques Barraband’s Historie Naturelle des Perroquets
Mackinnon Fine Furniture Collection

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.

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The Female Grey-Headed Parrot from Jacques Barraband’s Historie Naturelle des Perroquets
Mackinnon Fine Furniture Collection

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The Blue-Faced Parakeet from Jacques Barraband’s Historie Naturelle des Perroquets
Mackinnon Fine Furniture Collection

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The Caica Parrot from Jacques Barraband’s Historie Naturelle des Perroquets
Mackinnon Fine Furniture Collection

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A view of the staircase at LASSCO Brunswick House decorated with wildlife prints
photograph courtesy of May Geolot

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.

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A detail of a room designed by Cathy Kincaid
image from Cathy Kincaid

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Entrance hall to a home designed by Historical Concepts and decorated by Melanie Davis 
photograph by Emily Followill

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Mackinnon Fine Furniture stand at LAPADA Art & Antiques Fair 2016
photograph courtesy of May Geolot

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