Common name: Royal Aracari. From A Monograph of the Ramphastidae, or Family of Toucans, illustrated by Edward Lear, et al, text by John Gould and Richard Owen. C. Hullmandel, London, 1833-35.
Edward Lear was one of the great ornithological artists of his era, and worked with many publishers of English ornithologies and natural histories, John Gould (1804-1881) most notably. Lear contributed nine of the thirty-four plates that comprised Gould`s A Monograph of the Family of Toucans.
Lear's work is distinguished by the fact that he was the first bird artist to draw from living examples, capturing not only the precise details of the birds he painted, but also the individual bird`s unique character traits. These rare, beautifully hand-colored plates are signed by Lear in the lithographic stone.
The toucan family is limited to Mexico, Central and South America and some West Indian islands. Lear's remarkable images of these spectacular birds are regarded as among the best of his zoological drawings