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1785, Apr 261803-18511851, Jan 27
an American ornithologist, naturalist, and painter. He was notable for his extensive studies documenting all types of American birds and for his detailed illustrations that depicted the birds in their natural habitats. His major work, a color-plate book entitled The Birds of America (1827–1839), is considered one of the finest ornithological works ever completed. Audubon identified 25 new species.
 Quotes (56) • View in Quotations
A few days of idleness have completely sickened me, and given me what is called the blue-devils so severely, that I feel that the sooner I go to work and drive them off, the better.
A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children.
After all, I long to be in America again, nay, if I can go home to return no more to Europe, it seems to me that I shall ever enjoy more peace of mind, and even Physical comfort than I can meet with in any portion of the world beside.
Ah! How often when I have been abroad on the mountains has my heart risen in grateful praise to God that it was not my destiny to waste and pine among those noisome congregations of the city.
All trembling, I reached the Falls of Niagara, and oh, what a scene! My blood shudders still, although I am not a coward, at the grandeur of the Creator's power; and I gazed motionless on this new display of the irresistible force of one of His elements.
Almost every day, instead of going to school, I made for the fields, where I spent my day.
As I grew up I was fervently desirous of becoming acquainted with Nature.
Because my father was often absent on naval duty, my mother suffered me to do much as I pleased.
But Hopes are Shy Birds flying at a great distance seldom reached by the best of Guns.
During all these years there existed within me a tendency to follow Nature in her walks.
From the top of a high rock, I obtained a good few of the most extensive and dreary wilderness I ever beheld. It chilled the heart to gaze on these barrens of Labrador. Indeed, I now dread every change of harbor, so horridly rugged and dangerous is the whole coast and country to the eye, and to the experienced man either of the sea or the land.
Go where you will, if a shilling can there be procured, you may expect to meet with individuals in search of it.
Great men show politeness in a particular way; a smile suffices to assure you that you are welcome, and keep about their avocations as if you were a member of the family.
How could I make a little book, when I have seen enough to make a dozen large books?
Hunting, fishing, drawing, and music occupied my every moment. Cares I knew not, and cared naught about them.
I ate no butcher's meat, lived chiefly on fruits, vegetables, and fish, and never drank a glass of spirits or wine until my wedding day. To this I attribute my continual good health, endurance, and an iron constitution.
I can scarcely manage to scribble a tolerable English letter. I know that I am not a scholar, but meantime I am aware that no man living knows better than I do the habits of our birds.
I cannot help but think a curious event is this life of mine.
I discover that my friends think only of my apparel, and those upon whom I have conferred acts of kindness prefer to remind me of my errors.
I feel fully decided that we should all go to Europe together and to work as if an established Partnership for Life consisting of Husband Wife and Children.
I feel I am strange to all but the birds of America.
I looked long and carefully at the picture of a stag painted by Landseer - the style was good, and the brush was handled with fine effect; but he fails in copying Nature, without which the best work will be a failure.
I never for a day gave up listening to the songs of our birds, or watching their peculiar habits, or delineating them in the best way I could.
I waged war against my feelings.
I wish I had eight pairs of hands, and another body to shoot the specimens.
If I can procure three hundred good substantial names of persons, or bodies, or institutions, I cannot fail to do well for my family, although I must abandon my life to its success, and undergo many sad perplexities and perhaps never see again my own beloved America.
In America, business is the first object in view at all times, and rightly it should be so.
In my deepest troubles, I frequently would wrench myself from the persons around me and retire to some secluded part of our noble forests.
July 2. A beautiful day for Labrador. Went ashore and killed nothing, but was pleased with what I saw. The country is so grandly wild and desolate that I am charmed by its wonderful dreariness.
Mathematics was hard, dull work. Geography pleased me more. For dancing I was quite enthusiastic.
My drawings at first were made altogether in watercolors, but they wanted softness and a great deal of finish.
My wife determined that my genius should prevail, and that my final success as an ornithologist should be triumphant.
On landing at New York I caught the yellow fever. The kind man who commanded the ship that brought me from France took charge of me and placed me under the care of two Quaker ladies. To their skillful and untiring care I may safely say I owe my life.
On the 17th of May, the Delos put out to sea. I was immediately affected with sea-sickness, which, however, lasted but a short time. I remained on deck constantly, forcing myself to exercise.
One day I caught four Dolphins, how much I have gazed at these beautiful creatures... as they changed their hue in twenty varieties of richest arrangement of tints.
Patiently and with industry did I apply myself to study, for although I felt the impossibility of giving life to my productions, I did not abandon the idea of representing nature.
Poor France, thy fine climate, rich vineyards, and the wishes of the learned avail nothing; thou art a destitute beggar, and not the powerful friend thou wert represented to me.
Reader, persons who have never witnessed a hurricane, such as not unfrequently desolates the sultry climates of the south, can scarcely form an idea of their terrific grandeur. One would think that, not content with laying waste all on land, it must needs sweep the waters of the shallows quite dry to quench its thirst.
Surrounded by all the members of my dear family, enjoying the affection of numerous friends, who have never abandoned me, and possessing a sufficient share of all that contributes to make life agreeable, I lift my grateful eyes towards the Supreme Being and feel that I am happy.
The best recommendation I can have is my own talents, and the fruits of my own labors, and what others will not do for me, I will try and do for myself.
The Carrion Crow and Turkey-Buzzard possess great power of recollection, so as to recognise at a great distance a person who has shot at them, and even the horse on which he rides.
The eggers destroy all the eggs that are sat upon, to force the birds to lay fresh eggs, and by robbing them regularly compel them to lay until nature is exhausted, and so but few young ones are raised.
The fact is I am growing old too fast, alas! I feel it, and yet work I will, and may God grant me life to see the last plate of my mammoth work finished.
The Fur Company may be called the exterminating medium of these wild and almost uninhabitable regions, which cupidity or the love of money alone would induce man to venture into. Where can I now go and find nature undisturbed?
The gay bunting erects his white crest, and gives utterance to the joy he feels in the presence of his brooding mate; the willow grouse on the rock crows his challenge aloud; each floweret, chilled by the night air, expands its pure petals; the gentle breeze shakes from the blades of grass the heavy dewdrops.
The Golden Eagle, which has universally been considered as a bird of most extraordinary powers of flight, is in my estimation little more than a sluggard, though its wings are long and ample.
The mercantile business did not suit me.
The varying modes of flight exhibited by our diurnal birds of prey have always been to me a subject of great interest, especially as by means of them I have found myself enabled to distinguish one species from another, to the farthest extent of my power of vision.
The worse my drawings were, the more beautiful did the originals appear.
There is but one kind of love; God is love, and all his creatures derive theirs from his; only it is modified by the different degrees of intelligence in different beings and creatures.
There is the morass, wherein you plunge up to your knees, or the walking over the stubborn, dwarfish shrubbery, whereby one treads down the forests of Labrador; and the unexpected bunting or sylvia which perchance, and indeed as if by chance alone, you now and then see flying before you, or hear singing from the ground creeping plant.
To be a good draftsman was to me a blessing.
To have been torn from the study would have been as death; my time was entirely occupied with art.
To repay evils with kindness is the religion I was taught to practise, and this will forever be my rule.
Travelling through the breeding places of our species is far from being as interesting to me as it is to inspect the breeding places of the feathery tribes of our country.
Would it be possible that I should not in any degree succeed? I can scarcely think so. Ah delusive hope, how much further wilt thou lead me?
 Contemporaries
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John James Audubon1785, Apr 261803
 
18511851, Jan 27

William Winstanley [2]17751793
 
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Daniel Caffe1750, Jul 211770
 
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Johann Samuel Arnhold1766, Dec 221780
 
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Karl Friedrich Schinkel1781, Mar 131805
 
 
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William Kneass1781, Sep 251812
 
 
18401840, Aug 27
 the second Chief Engraver of the United States Mint from 1824 until his death in 1840. Kneass is ...
Johann Adam Ackermann17801800
 
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Benjamin Trottunknown1791
 
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Washington Allston1779, Nov 51801
 
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Augustus Wall Callcott1779, Feb 201799
 
18431844, Nov 2
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18441844, Feb 25
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Henry Inman1801, Oct 201821
 
 
18451846, Jan 17
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George Chinnery1774, Jan 51796
 
18491852, May 30
 Born in London, studied at the Royal Academy Schools. Moved to Ireland in 1796, where he establis...
Leo von Klenze1784, Feb 291808
 
 
18491864, Jan 26
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Antonin Moine1796, Jun 301830
 
 
18491849, Mar 18
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Vicente Lopez y Portana1772, Sep 191794
 
18501850, Jul 22
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18501850, Apr 15
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Abdallah Khanunknown1810
 
 
1850unknown
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T.H. Matteson1813, May 91841
 
 
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Johannes Hermanus Koekkoek17781793
 
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August Ahlborn1796, Oct 111823
 
18521857, Aug 24
 a German landscape painter. His paintings are mainly of Italian, North German, and Tyrolean lands...
Heinrich Gotthold Arnold17851800
 
18541854
 a German artist. Arnold was born in 1785 at Lamütz, near Radeberg in Saxony. He was a pupil of S...
Jean-Baptiste Isabey1767, Apr 111786
 
18551855, Apr 18
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William James Blacklock1816, Mar 31843
 
18551858, Mar 12
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Joseph Bonomi the Younger1796, Oct 91824
 
18561878, mar 3
 an English sculptor, artist, Egyptologist and museum curator. From 1824 to 1826, he was a member ...
Hannah Cohoon1788, Feb 11844
 
18561864, Jan 7
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Albrecht Adam1786, Apr 161809
 
18581862, Aug 28
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Matthew Cotes Wyatt17771805
 
18591862, Jan 3
 a painter and sculptor and a member of the Wyatt family, who were well known in the Victorian era...
Heinrich Adam17871811
 
18591862, Feb 15
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Karl Altmann18021850
 
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Taras Shevchenko1814, Mar 91822
 
18611861, Mar 10
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Karl Agricola17791800
 
18621862
 a German artist, noted for his portrait miniatures. He became known for his mythological pictures...
Hermann Goldschmidt1802, Jun 171820
 
18621866, Apr 26
 a German-French astronomer and painter who spent much of his life in France. He started out as a ...
Ernst Gebauer1782, May 231797
 
18651865, Jul 7
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James Augustus Suydam18191850
 
18651865
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Jacob Abels18031826
 
18661866
 a Dutch painter. Born in Amsterdam. He was especially noted for his paintings of moonlit landscap...
Ferdinand von Arnim1814, Sep 151839
 
18661866, Mar 23
 a German architect and watercolour-painter. He became a member of the Berlin Architects' Associat...
Heinrich Burkel18021824
 
18671869
 a German genre and landscape painter. He was designed for trade, but devoted every spare minute t...
Jean-Frederic Waldeck1766, Mar 16?1790
 
18691875, Apr 30
 a French antiquarian, cartographer, artist and explorer. Waldeck is remembered primarily for the...
Jakob Alt1789, Sep 271810
 
18691872, Sep 30
 a German painter and lithographer. He became noted as a landscape painter and made various journe...
Antoine-Louis Barye1796, Sep 241810
 
18691875, Jun 25
 an Italian painter and architect of the early-Baroque period, active in Rome and Spain, where he ...
Max Emanuel Ainmiller1807, Feb 141828
 
18691870, Dec 9
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John Gadsby Chapman1808, Dec 31830
 
18691889, Nov 28
 an American artist famous for Baptism of Pocahontas, which was commissioned by the United States...
Moritz Calisch18191834
 
18691870
 a 19th-century painter from the Northern Netherlands. In 1834 he won 150 guilders from the Drawin...
Andreas Achenbach1815, Sep 291835
 
18691910, Apr 1
 a German landscape painter, associated with the Düsseldorf school of painting. In his early work...
Stephen C. Massettunknown1840
 
1869unknown
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George Catlin1796, Jul 261830
 
18721872, Dec 23
 an American painter, author, and traveler who specialized in portraits of Native Americans in the...
Honore Daumier1808, Feb 261822
 
18731879, Feb 10
 a French printmaker, caricaturist, painter, and sculptor, whose many works offer commentary on so...
Edward Blore1787, Sep 131811
 
18741879, Sep 4
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Hermann Anschutz1802, Oct 121820
 
18791880, Aug 30
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William F. Woodington1806, Feb 101825
 
18791893, Dec 24
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Francis Alexander1800, Feb 31833
 
18791880, Mar 27
 an American portrait-painter. One of Alexander's best portraits is that of Mrs. Fletcher Webster,...
Eugen Adam1817, Jan 221840
 
18791880, Jun 6
 a German painter. He specialised on animal, genre, landscape and battle paintings. He had his ate...
Franz Adam1815, May 41840
 
18791886, Sep 30
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Joseph Matthaus Aigner1818, Jan 181840
 
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Jean Pierre Alexandre Antigna1817, Mar 171840
 
18791878, Feb 26
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Alvan Clark1804, Mar 81830
 
18871887, Aug 19
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Friedrich von Amerling1803, Apr 141828
 
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Benno Adam1812, Jul 151830
 
18891892, Mar 8
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Franz Alt18211840
 
18891914
 an Austrian watercolor landscape painter, son of Jakob Alt and the younger brother of Rudolf von ...
Alexandre Cabanel1823, Sep 281844
 
18891889, Jan 23
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Ramon Marti Alsina18261848
 
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Edward Armitage1817, May 201840
 
18941896, May 24
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George Whiting Flagg1816, Jun 261830
 
18991898, Jan 5
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Wilhelm Amberg1822, Feb 251840
 
18991899, Sep 10
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Benjamin Champney1817, Nov 201848
 
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George Frederic Watts1817, Feb 231830
 
19041904, Jul 1
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19051905, Mar 12
 an Austrian landscape and architectural painter. Son of the lithographer Jakob Alt and the brothe...
Oswald Achenbach1827, Feb 21843
 
19051905, Feb 1
 a German painter associated with the Düsseldorf school of painting. Though little known today, d...
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