Ostiense, Rome, Italy
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This is one of six studies of Ducks by Lear engraved for Eyton’s book. 18 uncoloured plates were produced by George Scharf. A number of other watercolours for Eyton’s project are in the Ruskin Gallery, Sheffield and a further preliminary study is in the Houghton Library, Harvard. Thomas Campbell Eyton (1809 – 1880) was one of the leading ornithologists of the period. He was friends with many of the leading naturalists of the period including, John Gould, Sir William Jardine and Charles Darwin, amongst others.
He formed the largest collection of birds’ skins and skeletons in Europe and published a number of volumes on birds, including Catalogue of British Birds, 1836 and A Monograph of the Anatidae or Duck Tribe,1838, both of which Lear worked on.
Engraved: For T.C. Eyton’s `A Monograph of the Anatidae or Duck Tribe’, London, 1838