Plate: 411 Common American SwanJohn James Audubon painted this bird in London in 1838 close to the end of the Havell publication. Two sets of clearly discernable finger prints appear in the sky of the painting at top center and top right. These finger prints are not dirt smudges but were embedded in the oil paint while it was fresh and not yet dry and are dimensional. As no other artist participated in this painting, they are most likely those of Audubon himself.
24 1/4 x 37 3/4 inches
The Oppenheimer-New York Historical Society Edition recreates the preparatory watercolor models John James Audubon (1785-1851) made prior to the publication of the double elephant folio edition of The Birds of America (1827-38) engraved by Robert Havell Jr. (1793-1878).
The New-York Historical Society and Oppenheimer Editions have an exclusive agreement to publish numbered actual-size facsimiles of all 474 of John James Audubon’s avian watercolors in the museum’s collection. The edition is limited to 200 prints of each image. With watercolor inks on watercolor paper, these prints directly capture the artist's hand and fundamental vision, unlike any publication before.