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Birds of Asia - Vol. 7

Birds of Asia - Vol. 7

One of Gould's greatest achievements, the Birds of Asia was in production longer than any of his other work, taking thirty-four years for the appearance of its thirty-five parts. The ornithologist was fascinated by the diversity of the exotic, colorful species of Asia, and he conveyed his enchantment to viewers, creating one of his most monumental and magnificent sets. For the preparation of The Birds of Asia, Gould’s team of artists was joined by the German-born Josef Wolf, who would become a long-term collaborator. Gould placed many of the overwhelmingly vibrant, showy and elegant birds in settings appropriately lush and detailed. Perhaps more than in any of his other productions,
he was careful to create an environment that was extensively delineated and highly accurate. In many of Gould's other books, the background was subtle or nonexistent, but he was clearly fascinated by the foliage and wildlife of Asia. The Birds of Asia was an overwhelming success, despite the great length of time over which it was produced. It was also a stunning feat in that, throughout the four decades of its production, the quality remained outstandingly high. The many noted subscribers included Queen Victoria, the Emperor of Austria, the kings of Hanover, Belgium, and Portugal, museums, universities, and institutions in cities worldwide.

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