Friday, April 07, 2006

Audubon's Eagle

James Audubon's Bald Eagle print:

New York Historical Society is running an exhibit of James Audubon's original watercolors that were the templates for the lithographs prints that are in his Birds of North America. I went on a guided tour of the exhibit, which at the time I thought was fabulously informative. So much so that when my parents came to visit from Boston the next week, I took them there to show them the exhibit. It was then I discovered that almost everything the guide had told on the tour was exactly what was written on the information cards on the walls. What a rip!

Audubon did two versions of the Bald Eagle - he decided he didn't like the first one enough, so he made a new one. The two were hanging side by side, and you could see the difference adn superiority of the second painting. The eagle is in the same pose and the same size in both, but in the orginal, he is killing a Canadian Goose with his talons, but the dead fish he kills in the second painting is far more gory and gross. Which is why he chose it.

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