From the moment they were introduced to the European mind in the early sixteenth century, their unique beauty was recognised and commemorated in the first name that they were given – birds so beautiful must be birds from paradise.
In this unique exploration of a truly awe-inspiring family of birds which to this day is still shrouded in mystery, David Attenborough and Errol Fuller trace the natural history of these enigmatic birds through their depiction in western works of art throughout the centuries, featuring beautiful illustrations by such luminary artists as Jacques Barraband, William Hart, John Gould, Rubens and Breughel, to name but a few. Experienced ornithologists and general nature and art enthusiasts alike will delight in this journey of discovery of the world’s most beautiful and mysterious birds.
The introduction provides a brief history into the discovery of these illustrious birds, from how they were originally perceived and idolized by the natives of New Guinea, to the arrival of Europeans, who were immediately captivated by their bright, vibrant colors. The chapters are ordered according to the sequence in which the birds representing the various genera made their appearance in Europe (thereby highlighting the books educational aspect). Within its pages, readers will catch a glimpse of these birds through vivid, highly-detailed painting, as well as learn more about each individual bird and genus-comparisons and contrasts between the males and females, as well as between the different genus's.
A tour through art and history, with a good deal of ornithology thrown in, Drawn From Paradise is not only a must-have for ornithologists and bird-watchers, but also a beautiful collectible for students, artists, and aesthetes. Its central idea is to showcase the breathtaking beauty of these birds and the enormous interest that still surrounds them even today.
This stunningly illustrated book tells the astonishing story of North America's Passenger Pigeon, a bird species that—like the Tyrannosaur, the Mammoth, and the Dodo—has become one of the great icons of extinction. Errol Fuller describes how these fast, agile, and handsomely plumaged birds were immortalized by the ornithologist and painter John James Audubon, and captured the imagination of writers such as James Fenimore Cooper, Henry David Thoreau, and Mark Twain. He shows how widespread deforestation, the demand for cheap and plentiful pigeon meat, and the indiscriminate killing of Passenger Pigeons for sport led to their catastrophic decline. Fuller provides an evocative memorial to a bird species that was once so important to the ecology of North America, and reminds us of just how fragile the natural world can be.
Published in the centennial year of Martha’s death, The Passenger Pigeon features rare archival images as well as haunting photos of live birds.
Elephants are among the most beloved of all creatures. Their behavior can seem almost human, from their complex social interactions to their need to mourn their dead. They are also among the most persecuted of animals, subjected to untold cruelty at the hands of humans through the ages. In this stunningly illustrated book, Errol Fuller provides a rich and moving portrait of elephants, exploring their natural history, the legends that have grown up around them, their unique place in art and literature, and their urgent need for protection today.
Fuller traces the evolution of these majestic animals from prehistoric mammoths and mastodons to today's African and Asian elephants, and looks at their behavior, herd dynamics, and social life. He examines the role of elephants in cultures around the world, from folklore and fine art to the exploitation of elephants as war machines and circus animals. Fuller also discusses the importance of conservation, warning that continued poaching and habitat degradation could send these iconic animals the way of the dodo.
Featuring many evocative photos never before published, Elephant is a fittingly exquisite tribute to these breathtaking creatures.