(1812 - 1888)
The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands
One hundred years before J. J. Audubon, Mark Catesby (1682-1749) traveled from England
to the new world on a legendary discovery expedition. Arriving in South Carolina
in 1722, he explored the colonial wilderness on foot and horseback for five years
taking notes, collecting specimens and making drawings. His finished work, The Natural
History of Carolina, Florida and The Bahama Islands, published before the
American Revolution, stands today as the first published work of American flora
and fauna to depict the entire spectrum of life forms: mammal, bird, plant, insect,
fish, reptile and amphibian.
This work was groundbreaking in a number of ways. Catesby was the first to place
his birds and animals in their natural habitats, a style later used by such artists
as Alexander Wilson and John James Audubon. He was also the first to attempt to
establish scientific names based on generic relationships between animals and birds.
Linneaus, who was working on his classification of the species, used Catesby¹s work
as a basis of his system of binomial nomenclature for American species.
The Natural History consists of two hundred plates. The Appendix compiled from specimens
available in England added twenty more. The work was completed in 1747 and remains
a monument in American science and natural history art.
We are proud to offer the fifty best plates from The Natural History of Carolina,
Florida and The Bahama Islands by Mark Catesby. These images accurately
convey the vivid colors and pristine quality present in the originals in The Field
Museum¹s collection from which they were made. Each print is on Somerset acid-free,
cotton rag watercolor paper imported from England.
Images may be viewed in the
Strictly limited to 500 numbered sets.
Price range: Individual prints: $600-$1,200
Complete sets of Catesby's's Fifty Best: $13,500