Bird Paintings, many art critics say, stand for the soaring aspiration of human beings. Flying through the air, perched on a lifeless tree, or sitting in a wildflower meadow, birds continue to stimulate our imaginations.
The ancient cave dwellers drew pretty much everything they saw in their daily lives on the wall of the caves, but birds literally gave wings to their imagination. Fanciful depictions of various birds fill the ancient walls of caves in Bhimabetaka (India) and Spain.
History of Bird Painting
Bird Paintings made its first appearance in Chinese paintings in the mid T'ang dynasty (618-907 A.D.).
In Europe, Art meant Christian Paintings for many centuries; and Christian paintings were all about religion. Therefore, artists who wished to paint birds had to include them in religious scenes as a small part of the picture.
By the Mid 1600's the atmosphere in Europe was somewhat relaxed, religion slowly stopped dominating each and every aspect of human life and artists could paint pictures of birds by themselves as well as in landscapes if they wished.
Holbein, Rubens, Rembrandt, and Leonardo Da Vinci were only a few of the artists who included birds in their paintings.
In the early 1700's, George Edwards, sometimes known as the "father of British ornithology", produced many beautiful paintings of both European and exotic Oriental birds.
In the 19th, John James Audubon produced some exquisite sketches, etchings and paintings of birds. He is considered by many as the greatest bird painter to date.
Ruben's Depiction of a bird in Prometheus Bound
The Father of British ornithology, travelled extensively through mainland Europe, and studied natural history, to authentically depict the fauna of Europe. In 1743 he published the first volume of his History of Birds, which contained engravings and descriptions of more than 600 subjects in natural history not before described or delineated. His beautiful depictions of birds were both aesthetically pleasing and sceintifically accurate.
Maybe this will be the year that the bird of paradise will come and build a nest here…Maybe these paintings give our aesthetic impulses a release like no other, for paradise after all, can be achieved only with the help of our winged friends….