Page:Ornithological biography, or an account of the habits of the birds of the United States of America, volume 1.djvu/543

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PROSPECTUS.




To those who have not seen any portion of the Author's Collection of Original Drawings, it may be proper to state, that their superiority consists in the accuracy as to proportion and outline, and the variety and truth of the attitudes and positions of the figures, resulting from peculiar means discovered and employed by the Author, and his attentive examination of the objects portrayed, during a long series of years. The Author has not contented himself, as others have done, with single profile views, but in very many instances has grouped his figures, so as to represent the originals at their natural avocations, and has placed them on branches of trees, decorated with foliage, blossoms and fruits, or amidst plants of numerous species. Some are seen pursuing their prey through the air, searching for food amongst the leaves and herbage, sitting on their nests, or feeding their young; whilst others, of a different nature, swim, wade, or glide in or over their allotted element. The Insects, Reptiles and Fishes, that form the food of these birds, have now and then been introduced into the drawings. In every instance where a difference of plumage exists between the sexes, both the Male and the Female have been represented; and the extraordinary changes which some species undergo, in their progress from youth to maturity, have been depicted. The Plants are all copied from Nature; and as many of the originals are remarkable for their beauty, their usefulness, or their rarity, the Botanist cannot fail to look upon them with delight.


The particulars of the Plan of the Work may be reduced to the following heads:—


1. The size of the work is Double Elephant Folio, the paper being of the finest quality.
2. The engravings are, in every instance, of the exact dimensions of the drawings, which, without any exception, represent the birds and other objects of their natural size.
3. The Plates are coloured in the most careful manner, from the original drawings.