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an idea. Here are some links to view some examples of Audubon’s prints sold at auction from our Antiques & Collectibles Appraisal Guides. Audubon was fully aware of the unique importance of his undertaking. He hoped to share his vision and its realization with the rest of mankind; to reach a much wider audience than might ever be able to see his original paintings. It was with this in mind that, in 1826, he went to England and commissioned printed copies to be made, all but a very few by the English engraver Robert Havell, Jr., an artist in his own right. Twelve years passed before the project was completed, and during that period Audubon learned to depend more and more upon the fidelity and artistic integrity of Havell. Over the years since they were first printed, it is the engraved copies rather than the artist's own paintings that have become celebrated as "Audubon originals." They are on the whole superb engravings that have become rarities, coveted by those who can afford to buy them, and it is these that have by and large established Audubon's reputation as a bird artist. Against all the heavy odds, Audubon did everything that he set out to do, and somewhat more. From the beginning he had relied on others for help when his own resources of time and talents were insufficient. But also from the beginning it was his grandiose concept that commanded the whole project, and it was his risk; the bulk of the work, and the best of it, was finished by his personal attention to the most exacting detail. The An early 20thC framed color lithograph after J.W. prominent English critic Sacheverell Audubon, titled BROWN PELICAN, printed by R. Havel Sitwell once termed it a "heroic" undertaking. "That one man should have endured the hardships of so many long and lonely journeys," Sitwell wrote, "painted the pictures, written the text and contrived the publication on so gigantic a scale puts his name among the immortals."

John james audubon biography and life's work  
John james audubon biography and life's work  
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