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Elizabeth Gould lithograph, Muscicapa melanops, Verditer Flycatcher c1831.

Elizabeth Gould lithograph, Muscicapa melanops, Verditer Flycatcher c1831.

by Gould, John

Rare lithograph. Elizabeth Gould Blue Flycatchers, Eumyias thalassinus, Himalayan birds found through South-east Asia to Sumatra.

Original hand-coloured lithograph drawn from nature and on stone by John Gould's artist wife, Elizabeth Gould (1804-1841). One of the earliest lithographs published by John Gould (1804-1881). This hand-coloured lithograph by Elizabeth Gould was published in London in 1831 for A Century of Birds from the Himalaya Mountains. 

When he was only 27, working as Curator Preserver of the Museum of the Zoological Society in London, John Gould began the first of his grand ornithological publications, illustrating with large hand-coloured lithographs, the birds of different regions of the world. He arranged for Edward Lear who was an artist with the Zoological Society, to teach his wife lithography so that she could assist with his publications. Differing from his later publications, the fine hand-coloured birds of this first series are dramatically shown against their uncoloured background habitat - which allows us to appreciate the lithographer's art of drawing on stone in their creation. During the next fifty years Gould published over 3,000 large, hand-coloured lithographic plates of birds for his 15 major publications. Elizabeth Gould lithographed over 600 of them - until she died of puerperal fever (and overwork?) in 1841, a few months after the birth of their eighth child following their return to England.

In 1909, The Gould League of Bird Lovers in Australia was named in honour of ‘the father of Australian birds’ John Gould. In England he became known as The Bird Man. His artist wife Elizabeth Gould contributed greatly to her husband's reputation, but has been barely acknowledged. Published between 1840 and 1848, his lithographs of Birds of Australia are some of the finest Australian bird illustrations ever produced. 

This rare lithograph measures approximately 22.75 x 14.5 inches (553 x 367mm). There are a few foxing spots, but it is still a wonderful lithograph.

Stock Number: apJGh6Price: $625.00