Wattle-cheeked Honey-eater - Prints & Drawings
John Gould, FRS
and Elizabeth Gould (née Coxen)
"Ptilotis cratitius" [Wattle-cheeked Honey-eater]
Lithograph on paper, published in Birds of Australia, c. 1840-48.
This species was discovered by Gould in 1839 near the Upper Torrens in South Australia. This image shows a male and female on a branch of Prostanthera lasianthos, 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.
John Gould is also notable for his work with Darwin. 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.