Mt. Desert Island Feed

Audubon, Van Gogh and James Bond's Uncle

Van Gogh kingfisher painting Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)

When artists painted portraits of birds before the advent of color photography, they had to paint from life. Thus ...

When John James Audubon created his landmark "Birds of America," he used stuffed birds as models.

When Vincent Van Gogh painted "Kingfisher by the Waterside" in 1887, he used a stuffed kingfisher as a model as well (see photo below, from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam).

And when Carroll Sargent Tyson Jr. -- James Bond's uncle -- did his splendid series of fine-arts prints of "Birds of Mt. Desert Island," he likely had to use collected birds as well, collected by none other than Bond himself.

You can read more about the prints in my book.

More on "The Kingfisher" from Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum's Facebook page here.

and a museum webpage here.

Van Gigh kingfisher stuffed