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John James Audubon (1785-1851)

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Canvas by Audubon Enlarge

Peregrine Falcons
(John James Audubon, Public domain)

John James Audubon (1785-1851)

In 1785, John James Audubon was born in Santo-Domingo (modern-day Haiti), but was brought up by his mother-in-law in France. From his earliest days, he was fascinated by the natural sciences and all the animal and plant species he observed.

In 1803, he sailed to the United States to avoid conscription, then underway in France. He found a job in Philadelphia and began to paint and draw birds. Soon, an idea germinated in his mind to illustrate the totality of the winged species of North America.

John James Audubon set out in 1810 to lead the life of a nomad and make sketches of all the birds that he'd encounter along his way. More than 20 years later, he finally published his "Birds of America", comprising 435 life-size plates, to which he owes his fame.

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