For half a century, John James Audubon was one of America’s dominant wildlife artists and his respect and concern for the natural world would come to influence modern conservationism and environmentalism movements, such as the National Audubon Society named in his honor. For several years he travelled extensively, sketching and writing, producing over 400 detailed drawings. His intent was to turn them into a portfolio of engravings that depicted the birds in a life-sized format. His four-volume opus The Birds of America was first printed in London by Havell & Son in 1827. With the success and continued demand for his work, Audubon began work on a more compact edition of Birds of America, the Royal Octavo edition as well as a series mammals titled The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America.
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