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Artist: John Abbott (1751 – 1840)

Title: Blackbird

Date: 1790

Medium: Watercolor on Paper

Size: 11 ½” x 8 ¾”

Tradition: Study of Nature


The Artist: John Abbot was a naturalist painter whose intricately detailed and vibrantly colored studies of fauna and flora were sought after by artistic and scientific communities. Born in Great Britain, Abbot spent most of his life in Georgia and Virginia, collecting and painting unknown species for study. His illustrations had a significant impact on the new sciences of entomology, arachnology, ornithology, and botany in the 18th and 19th centuries. Consequently, his art works significantly influenced natural history and inspired a new generation of artists.

About the Artwork: While in Georgia Abbot collected, studied, and drew the insects and birds of the region. Like other naturalists and wildlife artists, such as John J. Audubon, Abbot used real specimens as models, drawing them with graphite pencil and painting with watercolor on the detailed sketch. His watercolor artistry and scientific accuracy came to be highly valued by naturalists both in America and Europe.

Last updated: 2/10/2020