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John James Audubon is known for his remarka ble studies of American birds depicted in their natural habitats. His The B irds of North America (1827-1839)\, in which he identified 25 new species a nd a number of new sub-species\, is considered to be one of the finest orni thological works ever completed. However\, his studies of mammals are less well-known.

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Twelve folio engravings by this great ornithologist\, naturalist and painter are on display within the Museum unt il 28 October.

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John James Audubon’s exotic and oft en romanticised life has been widely chronicled\; searching ‘Audubon’ on th e internet produces over ten million hits. Born Jean-Jacques in Haiti in 17 85\, he was the illegitimate son of Captain Jean Audubon and his French-Cre ole mistress. He was raised in France\, received some naval training\, lear ned to love nature and wildlife\, and began to draw. To escape conscription into Napoleon’s army the eighteen year old Audubon was sent to America to manage his father’s new estate\, Mill Grove\, near Philadelphia. Although A udubon returned to France he finally settled in America in 1806.

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His earliest studies of birds date back to 1804 but work for his epic The Birds of America demanded a more peripatetic way of life and in 1820 Audubon began his travels\, supporting himself as a portrait painte r and drawing master. His aim was to represent the authentic colours and de tails characteristics of each species life-size. He collected his own speci mens\, usually by shooting them\, in order to record the colours before the faded. Wiring the birds in life-like positions\, he transcribed their outl ines as accurate pencil drawings.

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John James Audubon changed foreve r the way in which nature is illustrated. His painstakingly executed\, life -size images underscore his genius and confirm his place as one of the grea t American artists of the 19th century.

DTEND:20131028 DTSTAMP:20140822T134939 DTSTART:20130310 GEO:51.3753603;-2.3113128 LOCATION:American Museum in Britain\,Claverton Manor \n Bath \, BA2 7BD SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY: Fur and Feather\, John James Audubon UID:258941 END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTEND:20130310T170000 DTSTAMP:20140822T134939 DTSTART:20130310T120000 GEO:51.3753603;-2.3113128 LOCATION:American Museum in Britain\,Claverton Manor \n Bath \, BA2 7BD SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY: Fur and Feather\, John James Audubon UID:258942 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR