Audubon’s drawings in La Rochelle

The 131 drawings of the collection in La Rochelle are accessible and available for consultation here as they were discovered in d’Orbigny’s “Iconography”. They were restored later on.

The complete collection”: the species are classified as closely as possible to recent phylogenetic classifications.

Two categories can be consulted separately:

  • American Birds and Mammals”: species are represented dead or suspended. This group, most probably produced during Audubon’s first stay at Mill Grove is unique in the collections in France as well as in the US. The red Cardinal is the only American species whose representation comes closer to the second category.
  • French Birds and Mammals”: species are drawn according to the norms of naturalistic representation at the end of the XVIIIth century. This group has most probably been produced between 1803 (or 1802) and 1806 in Couëron or in Nantes under the influence of d’Orbigny; The Barn Owl is the only drawing of a bird made in France (1805) whose posture is identical to the American group.

The tab Harvard duplicates enables to select the drawings that have an equivalent in the collections of Harvard University, namely 43 drawings. This similarity appears under 2 forms as explained in the notes:

  • Identical duplicates (29): identical species, graphic technique and pose. These drawings look contemporaneous with these in La Rochelle.
  • Non-identical duplicates (14): same species, identical or similar graphic technique but a different pose; These drawings are dated after those of La Rochelle, sometimes long after.