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John Gould Lithographs

John Gould (1804-1881) was the epitome of the term "self-made man". The Age of Enlightenment & Discovery had made the emerging Merchant class, courtesy of the Industrial Revolution, manifestly curious. All the stars aligned with time, place, opportunity for Gould to establish a printing empire between 1839 until his death in 1881, & beyond. Known as the "Bird Man", he was an entrepreneur that adopted lithography as it was ideal for rendering fur and feathers of the subjects his customers craved, be they public institutions, nobility or the newly affluent. He was to attract talent and and incubate it, in equal measure: the likes of his wife Elizabeth Coxen, Edward Lear, William Hart & Henry Richter were a few. The scientific accuracy of his lithographs, together new coloring techniques and accompanied descriptions, make his work as sort after today as it was when issued. As his subscription lists were limited to 250 they were printed in black and white to be colored by hand. Of the 2999 unique images produced there was only ever that number of original prints per image. Gould was to take William Hart's technique of painting on gold & silver leaf to the Great Exhibition of 1851, the showcase of the British Empire, so proud he was of how it mimicked feathery iridescence.





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