Edward Lear’s Birds of Europe

February 15th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Lear Invitation

Click here to view available prints.

Joel Oppenheimer, Inc.  is pleased to announce the exhibition of Edward Lear’s Birds, from John Gould’s Birds of Europe, a newly acquired collection of 67 remarkable antique prints.  Considered one of the greatest ornithological artists of his era, the multi-talented Edward Lear (born May 12, 1812) was a self taught naturalist and painter who later became famous for authoring books of nonsense poems and limericks.  Interest in his writings and musings carry on to this day with websites dedicated to his life and legacy.

At age 14, Lear began his career as an artist. Many major publishers of nineteenth century English ornithology and natural history employed the young artist for his exacting and masterly skill. Lear’s work is further distinguished because he was the first bird artist to draw from living examples, capturing not only the precise details of the birds he painted, but also the individual bird’s unique character traits.  Lear worked at the Zoological Society in London where he met John Gould, the most prolific naturalist publisher of the nineteenth century. Lear drew 67 plates and many of the foregrounds for Gould’s Birds of Europe (1832-1837). The plates Lear contributed are among the finest of that work.  The rare, beautifully hand-colored plates acquired by Oppenheimer were drawn and signed by Lear on the lithographic stones. The exhibition is open to the public and admission is free of charge.

In celebration of Lear’s 200th birthday, museums and learning institutions worldwide will be honoring his body of work including the prestigious British Museum in London, London’s Fine Art Society, and Harvard University. The Harvard exhibit, “The Natural History of Edward Lear,” is being curated by Robert McCracken Peck, Senior Fellow of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia.

Click here to view Invitation full size

Chicago: March 22 – April 28, 2012
Joel Oppenheimer, Inc. • 312-642-5300
Charleston: May 25 – June 30, 2012
The Audubon Gallery • 843-853-1100


5:30 TO 7:30 P.M.  RSVP by March 19th

312-642-5300 or joppen@audubonart.com