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Print, "Der Drenfarbige Distelfinck", painted

1749-1770
Origin: Germany, Nuremberg
OH: 15 1/2" OW: 9 13/16" Plate H: 11 5/8" Plate W: 8 5/8"
Hand-colored etching on laid paper
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1991-21
Slightly smaller image of The Painted Finch pirated from Catesby's Natural History. The birds has a blue head, orange belly, yellow back and multicolor wings. It is perched on a flowering branch of a tree.
Label:Cromwell Mortimer, Secretary to the Royal Society, commented on the coloring of the first edition of Mark Catesby’s Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands, noting that “all the illuminated sets were colour’d under his Directions, and all touch’d up and finish’d by his own Hand.” The subtle coloring of the example published in the first edition reflects his sensibilities. Catesby’s publication was revised and re-issued in 1754 and again in 1771. Another printing of the third edition was issued in the early 19th century. The colors found on the later edition prints tend to be brighter and more opaque.

Seligmann’s print of the painted finch was taken from Mark Catesby’s Natural History for use in a German variation entitled, Collection of Various Foreign and Rare Birds. Catesby’s works received such wide acclaim from Continental naturalists that versions were published in English (accompanied by French text), German, and Dutch.
Provenance:Purchase from W. Graham Alexander, III in New York City, N.Y.