The Oppenheimer Editions Audubon Bien Edition Pl. 21, Pigeon Hawk beautifully illustrates the stunning colors and dynamic compositions for which his work is known.
Published as a limited edition of 150, this print is embossed with the Oppenheimer Editions logo and printed with the finest quality archival pigments on rag watercolor paper. Allow yourself to be inspired by Audubon’s craftsmanship and appreciation for nature by welcoming this print into your home.
About the Bien Edition of the Birds of America
John James Audubon’s Birds of America is a highly influential work of American art and ornithological study. The Audubon prints feature detailed illustrations of North American bird species in their natural habitats, portrayed at life-size. Audubon spent two decades on this project, exploring the wilderness of America, gathering specimens, sketching birds, and meticulously documenting his observations.
Audubon’s illustrations are known for their remarkable detail and ability to capture the unique characteristics of each species. To ensure accuracy, he used various methods such as extensive field observation and referencing taxidermy specimens. He also developed a technique of wiring freshly caught birds to a gridded board, allowing him to position them realistically and depict them with precision in terms of scale, color, and movement.
In this modern edition, Audubon’s 2nd Edition of The Birds of America plates are masterfully recreated as modern fine art prints. All presented in full double-elephant folio size, the Bien Oppenheimer Edition of the Birds of America stands alone as the most impressive modern presentation of the original chromolithographs.
The Bien edition of the Birds of America was initiated by Audubon’s two sons, John Woodhouse and Victor Gifford, several years after his death. Collaborating with New York-based lithographer Julius Bien, they carried on Audubon’s legacy by producing his historic folio through the pioneering medium of chromolithography. In a similar manner to its Havell edition predecessor, the Bien edition was sold by subscription, beginning in 1858. However, production was brought to a halt by the advent of the Civil War and only 150 plates on 105 sheets were completed. The consensus is that fewer than seventy folios were ever completed, making the Bien edition the rarest of Audubon’s folios.
About John James Audubon
America’s most revered artist-naturalist, John James Audubon (1785—1851), is renowned for his extraordinary undertaking to visually record the birds and mammals of North America. His publications The Birds of America & The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America are icons of 19th-century art and capture the nascent stages of American natural history.
Born in 1785 in Les Cayes, Santo Domingo (Haiti) to a Creole mother and French father, Audubon spent the early years of his life in France but moved to America at age 18. It was during this time that his appreciation for birds flourished and he developed a keen artistic acumen for rendering wildlife. It was not until 1819 when Audubon was married and the father of two sons, that he embraced the life of artist-naturalist and embarked on his venture through the backwoods of America with the intent of illustrating the avian life he encountered there.
Audubon’s muti-decade venture resulted in the publication of his monumental folio The Birds of America which documented over 700 bird species on 435 plates. In a similar manner and with the help of his two sons and his friend Reverend John Bachman, Audubon later produced The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America, which contained 150 plates depicting the mammals of North America. Audubon’s folios were seismic in the fields of ornithology and mammalogy and set a new precedent for natural history illustration.
About Oppenheimer Editions
Established in 1999, our publishing company Oppenheimer Editions was developed in order to produce modern facsimiles of historic works of art. Marrying cutting-edge digital printing technologies with canonical works of art, Oppenheimer Editions has partnered with prestigious museums to make their holdings accessible to the public as fine art prints. Works from the New-York Historical Society’s unrivaled collections of John James Audubon’s watercolors and the Hudson River School paintings are examples of art that otherwise would be unobtainable.
Among the institutional collections we have partnered with are the American Museum of Natural History, the Field Museum, and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. Our Oppenheimer Editions prints are not mere reproductions. Rather, they are limited-edition fine art prints made with the finest quality archival pigments on rag watercolor paper and executed to exacting standards.
For more information about Audubon Bien Edition Pl. 21, Pigeon Hawk, email us at [email protected] or check out our articles What are the differences between an Audubon Havell engraving and Bien Lithograph? and Audubon Collecting Guide.