Audubon, John James

Article

October 17, 2021

John James Audubon (born April 26, 1785 - January 27, 1851) - American naturalist, ornithologist and animal painter, author of the work "Birds of America" ​​(1827-1838). Audubon was born in the French colony of San Domingo in Haiti. On the eve of the revolution, his father transported him to France, and in 1803 he sent him to America, saving him from the Napoleonic wars. Until 1820, Audubon tried to run his own business, engaged in trade and a sawmill, but did not succeed, and, becoming bankrupt, spent a short time in prison. When he was released, he began to draw birds, which he previously did only as a hobby. Not finding funding for the publication of "Birds of America" ​​in Philadelphia, he went to England, from where he later repeatedly returned in search of new birds. In addition to an album of life-size illustrations, Birds of America, Audubon published a companion book, Avian Biography (1831–1838), containing descriptions of the birds depicted and many short stories (“episodes”) about life in America. Together with John Bachman, he wrote The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America (illustrations published in 1842-1846, text part - in 1846-1854). The life of Audubon and his main work are regarded as cult American phenomena: having set himself the task of describing all types of birds in America, he formed the self-consciousness of an American naturalist, was the first in the history of the nation to combine art and science. The National Audubon Society, one of the first conservation organizations in the world, is named in his honor.

Biography

Early years

Jean Rabin Audubon was born on April 26, 1785 on a sugar plantation near Le Quay in the French colony of San Domingo on the island of Haiti. However, some historians call it 1786 or 1780. Audubon's biographers associate the date of birth with a note in the journal of a doctor who visited his mother in the last days of pregnancy due to a tropical illness and indicated that on April 26 she gave birth to a child (no other information, including the name, is in the journal). Jean Raben did not have a birth certificate, as he was illegitimate. Father, Jean Audubon (1744-1818), was a French naval officer and commanded a ship during the American Revolutionary War. Audubon's paternal grandfather

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