1843 – 1865

The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America

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In the early 1840s Audubon decided to paint the animals of North America. Having achieved worldwide fame with his Birds of America, he joined with his sons and Dr. John Bachman of Charleston, South Carolina to draw and describe America’s quadrupeds.

The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America, also known as the folio edition, consisted of 150 plates (22 x 28 inches) sold by subscription. There were 30 parts, and each part had 5 plates. They sold for $10 a part. Each plate was lithographed and hand-colored with such precision and care as to give the fur on the animals a superbly realistic appearance.

As the first work on American quadrupeds of this scope and quality, Audubon’s second great work is a landmark of American natural science. Overshadowed by the Birds of America, and unjustly unknown, the prints from Audubon’sViviparous Quadrupeds of North America are considered by some to be even finer and more accurate than the bird prints. They are surely prints of the highest quality and beauty.