Little Grey Bittern - Prints & Drawings
Little Grey Bittern
John Gould, FRS
and Elizabeth Gould (née Coxen)
"Ardetta Stagnatilis" [Little Grey Bittern]
Lithograph on paper, published in Birds of Australia, c. 1840-48
The Little Grey Bittern can be found around Port Essington and other parts of the north coast of Australia. The illustration represent a male and female of the natural size: from text on accompanying page (not shown).
Elizabeth was an artist working in lithography, and John was a taxonomist, taxidermist, and artist. The couple is known for collaborating on several illustrated texts. They travelled to Australila in the late 1830s, drawing and describing what they saw. After Elizabeth’s untimely death, John finished the work and published the 7-volume Birds of Australia, as well as a text on Australian mammals and another book devoted to kangaroos. He is consequently called the father of Australian ornithology.
Also notable for his work with Darwin, John Gould’s work with the Galapagos finches forms a significant portion of part 3 of the Zoology of the Voyage of the H.M.S. Beagle, which would become a famous component of Darwin’s early theory of evolution.
Paper: 21.5" h. x 14.25" w.