John Gould, 1804-1881. Gould, “The Bird Man,” created 2999 different hand colored lithographic plates of birds and animals. Born in England, he gained his ornithological knowledge by observation and experience. His significant contributions to science earned him becoming Fellow of the Royal Society.
A skilled taxidermist, he acquired a collection of new bird skins from the Himalayas. Once stuffed and mounted, he realized their artistic possibilities, and his began artistically illustrating them. His wife, Elizabeth helped to draw, lithograph, and color his first plates. Gould published more than forty large folio volumes.
Gould created original sketches for all the plates. Other artists hand colored and did the lithography. He traveled to Asia, Australia and East Indies finding new birds. His natural history plates series is considered the finest in bird illustrations. His Hummingbirds, Toucans Birds of Paradise, are in demand by collectors, as are his other works.