Monday, 19 December 2011

On Life-changing Books - part two -


I found this French book of the American bird artist Louis Agassiz Fuertes in a second-hand book stall at the summer Sunday street market in my hometown Porto Recanati. I was a teenager and at that time I had no idea about who this artist was, but I was into watercolours and birds and the book was a good bargain and I could read French. I was surprised to read that he was self-taught and also stricken to see the level of detail and yet expression and movement.

Red-breasted Merganser ©Louis Agassiz Fuertes

At 22, self-taught, Fuertes (1874-1927) was considered the most talented American bird artist of the time. An intimate knowledge of his subjects' lives and behaviours allowed him to truthfully represent birds expressions and attitudes combined with an exact ornithological rendering.
He took part as an artist and illustrator in ornithological expeditions and scientific explorations over USA, Greater Antilles, Mexico, Colombia, and Ethiopia. Definitely an inspiring life.

Killdeer ©Louis Agassiz Fuertes

He used to work from life, patiently and rigorously observing the living bird relying on his prodigious visual memory to flawlessly capture expressions and attitudes, he also worked from dead specimens to take life-size measurements and other details both drawn and written very thoroughly.
I found a beautiful website-archive with many of his paintings and sketches which is really worth a visit, click here, I hope you'll enjoy.

Common Potoo ©Louis Agassiz Fuertes

And this is also the last post for this year, with many more on the way about my latest endeavours, I would like to wish all the readers and followers, regardless of what religion you may follow, if any,  a good time spent with loved ones, and best hopes for the new year to come.
Take care                                     Matteo

11 comments:

  1. Matteo, thank you for introducing me to this wonderful artist. You and he share much in your abilities to capture the particular character of a bird. And thank you also for the perfect holiday wishes. I wish the same for you and look forward to visiting your blog in the new year.
    Tchao-wow,
    Ruca

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  2. Absolutely stunning artworks Matteo - thank you for sharing .. best wishes to you and yours for a wonderful Christmas xx

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  3. I love the Red-breated Mergansers, it is out of this world.

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  4. Fuertes work is amazing. I can see why it would be an inspiration to you. I will take this opportunity to wish you a wonderful Christmas, and the very best in the New Year!

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  5. Thank you for reminding us of this great artist that didn't kill to paint, like Audubon did. And my very best wishes to you, please go on as you're doing, generously sharing your beautiful art with us.
    Next time you're in Italy please give us warning!

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  6. Hi Matteo,
    You have just been awarded a Versatile Blogger Award.

    Merry Christmas.

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  7. Thank you everybody and thanks Bev, I din't expect that!

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  8. Great find, especially love the Merganser illustration.

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  9. Gracias por la información Matteo. No conocía a Louis Agassiz Fuertes y me ha sorprendido gratamente encontrarle.
    Un fuerte abrazo y que todo sea bueno para ti y los tuyos en este nuevo año.

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  10. Have a Wonderful New Year, Matteo!

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