Wilson Phalarope
engraving with aquatint
16'' x 21''
Audubon, John James
1785-1851

John James Audubon was born April 26, 1785 in Les Cayes, Santo Domingo (now Haiti). His mother was creole and his father held the title of Captain Jean Audubon.

Audubon left the Carribean in the early 1800’s and returned to France, his ancestral homeland, for schooling.  While in France, he studied drawing under Jacques-Louis David.  In 1807, he traveled to the United States and proceeded to travel extensively throughout the North American continent.  It was during his travels that he made notes and drawings for his Quadrupeds of North America and Birds of North America, which brought him great fame when it was published from 1827 to 1838, since it was the first folio to depict all of the birds of North America.

In 1824, he arrived in New York with letters of introduction from Thomas Sully to Gilbert Stuart, Washington Allston and John Trumbull.  At this time, he also met the artist, John Vanderlyn and sat for his portrait of General Jackson.  Audubon himself painted several portraits while he was visiting Meadville, Pennsylvania in 1824.  He also went to Louisiana in 1824 and remained in the South until May of 1826, when he embarked for Europe.  There he exhibited extensively, significantly at the Royal Academy.

Audubon was elected a member of the Royal Society of London, a Fellow of the American Academy, and was received personally by the President of the United States as the foremost American naturalist.

Audubon died in New York City in 1851.