Archibald Thorburn (1860-1935)
PROPERTY OF THE EARL OF PORTSMOUTH
Archibald Thorburn (1860-1935)

Partridges in flight

Details
Archibald Thorburn (1860-1935)
Partridges in flight
signed and dated 'Archibald Thorburn/1907' (lower right)
pencil, watercolour and bodycolour, heightened with touches of gum arabic on paper laid on artist's board
30 1/8 x 52 1/8 in. (76.5 x 132.4 cm.)
Provenance
The Thorburn Museum; Sotheby's, London, 31 March 1993, lot 38.

Brought to you by

Clare Keiller
Clare Keiller

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Lot Essay

Thorburn was the best-known ornithological artist of his time. The son of a portrait miniaturist, his earliest work was illustrating W. F. Swaysland's Familiar Wild Birds, soon followed by his plates for Lord Lilford’s extraordinarily wide-ranging publication Coloured figures of the Birds of the British Islands, published in seven volumes between 1885 and 1898. Much influenced by Joseph Wolf, and his insistence on studying birds from life, Thorburn spent most of his time sketching in the field, and his large scale watercolours have a remarkable immediacy and sense of movement as a result of this. His game birds in flight, such as this one, were particularly popular with the great shots of the early 20th Century, including Edward VII and George V.
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