John James Audubon
When the bird and the book disagree, believe the bird.
Born Saint Domingue (now Haiti), painter John James Audubon (1785-1851) was the illegitimate son of French sea captain. Raised in France, he was sent to America at the age of 18. As a hobby, Audubon spent time in nature, observing and drawing birds. When his small business went bankrupt, he packed up his artist materials and ventured into the wild. Thus began his mission to depict all of America’s birds. Some years later, Audubon sailed to England with his partly finished collection in tow. Overnight, his work was a huge success. His timeless bird studies are still renowned today.