EXHIBIT: An Audubon Classic Online

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Science  18 Jun 2004:
Vol. 304, Issue 5678, pp. 1725d
DOI: 10.1126/science.304.5678.1725d

A modern artist who depicts a cougar stalking a deer or a robin feeding its greedy young follows in the footsteps of John James Audubon (1785–1851). The naturalist and painter broke with artistic convention by showing his subjects in realistic poses based on meticulous field observations. Browse all 435 plates from Audubon's pioneering Birds of America (1827–38) at Harmony, an exhibit from the Musée de la Civilisation in Quebec City, Canada. A corny multimedia feature weaves in New Age music and poetry, but you can skip straight to the paintings by clicking on “Catalog.” Audubon's insistence on rendering specimens at actual size meant that each of the four original volumes was a meter tall. The site doesn't include the book's text, but you'll find the author's observations on the birds' looks and habits at this site from the Audubon Society.

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