Limited edition each one of 100 copies only, signed and numbered by the artist (two nos.27, one no. 26) on Fabriano Rag paper with printed tissue wrappers, including No. 11, Chinese Parrotbill; No.24, Silver Oriole; No.26, Firethroat, 820 x 630mm, 1994
Rare Birds of China was commissioned in 1984 and took almost 10 years to complete. Intended as a unique record of China’s rare and endangered birds, the 32 birds were compiled with a particular concern for those species increasingly threatened by environmental hazards and loss of habitat.
James Fenwick Lansdowne, often described as the successor to John James Audubon, was born in 1937 to British parents in Hong Kong. He was taught to paint by his mother, herself an accomplished artist trained in traditional Chinese watercolour techniques. S. Dillon Ripley, Secretary Emeritus of the Smithsonian Institution, chose Lansdowne to illustrate his definitive ornithological monograph, Rails of the World, published in 1977.
These collotypes are outstanding examples of the fidelity of colour and ornithological detail for which Lansdowne is known.