Jean-Jacques Audubon’s outstanding and unique collection of illustrations of birds and mammals, considered of ‘national importance’ by the French Ministry of Culture, is currently on display at La Rochelle’s Natural History Museum. The exhibition continues until 25th March.
Famous in the United States to the point of being nicknamed the ‘American’ Leonardo da Vinci, artist-adventurer Jean-Jacques Audubon, whose Birds of America was published between 1827 and 1838, started his artistic life here in France. From 1802 to 1806, Audubon learned the skill of painting nature from Charles-Marie d'Orbigny, founder of the La Rochelle Museum, and subsequently donated to d’Orbigny all the work that they had jointly developed. Visitors to the Museum will discover a collection totalling some 131 works, dating from that period and which, until now, have been stored in the archives of the Société des Sciences Naturelles de la Charente-Maritime. Revered for their rarity and historical value, these illustrations fit perfectly into an exhibition that retraces part of the history of early nineteenth century science, the vision of the environment of that time and its current resonance. Located a few hundred metres from our La Rochelle hotel (‘as the crow flies’ of course!), visitors can enjoy the exhibition at La Rochelle’s Natural History Museum from Tuesdays to Sundays.
(Published on January 17, 2018)