Beautiful zoological illustrations

Ramphastos toco (Linn.), July 1836 (w/c on paper), Edward Lear, (1812-88) / © The Right Hon. Earl of Derby
Ramphastos toco (Linn.), July 1836 (w/c on paper), Edward Lear, (1812-88) / © The Right Hon. Earl of Derby

Lemur rufus, Audebert., December 1836 (w/c on paper), Edward Lear, (1812-88) / © The Right Hon. Earl of Derby
Lemur rufus, Audebert., December 1836 (w/c on paper), Edward Lear, (1812-88) / © The Right Hon. Earl of Derby

The Royal Society is celebrating the bicentenary year of Edward Lear's birth (1812–1888) by exhibiting some of his finest zoological illustrations that were collaborations with Fellows of the Royal Society.  We're delighted to present Bridgeman's collection of images by the artist available for licensing and fine art prints.

Perhaps most famous for his nonsense poetry, particularly "The Owl and the Pussycat," Edward Lear was also an artist and scientific illustrator, particularly of beautifully observed exotic birds.

The exhibition will showcase many of his drawings from across his career, including a rare folio Lear illustrated in 1846. Gleanings from the Menagerie and Aviary at Knowsley Hall features illustrations of live animals living at the estate of Edward Smith-Stanley (the 13th Earl of Derby and Lear's patron), many of which, such as the Malayan giant squirrel and red lemur, were unknown to British science until presented to the Royal Society.

 

As well as being beautiful representations of wild and exotic animals, Lear's zoological prints also convey the fascinating collaboration between art and science in the nineteenth century.

Click through to see over 400 drawings and illustrations by Edward Lear

 

 

 

This exhibition is on display from Wednesday, 29 August, until Friday, 26 October, in the Marble Hall of the Royal Society, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London.

Edward Lear Aged 73 and a Half and His Cat Foss, Aged 16 (litho), by Edward Lear
Edward Lear Aged 73 and a Half and His Cat Foss, Aged 16 (litho), by Edward Lear


Back to top