History Archive > Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidae, or Parrots (1832)

Illustrations of the family of Psittacidae, or parrots : the greater part of them species hitherto unfigured, containing forty-two lithographic plates, drawn from life, and on stone


Date: 1832



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Lear, Edward. Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidae, or Parrots. London : Published by E. Lear . 1832.


Lear, Edward (1832) Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidae, or Parrots. London : Published by E. Lear .


Lear, Edward, Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidae, or Parrots. London : Published by E. Lear . 1832.


Edward Lear started painting parrots in 1830 when he was 18 years old, and by 1832 he had published 42 paintings of parrots as lithographic plates bound together as a book. A total of 175 books were made of which about 100 survive today. He painted live parrots at the London Zoo and some in private collections. The quality of his paintings of parrots established his reputation as one of the best natural history artists of his time.

The young Lear gained access to parrots in private collections through contacts he made while sketching at London Zoo. He met Benjamin Leadbeater, a taxidermist and trader in specimens, who is credited in the captions as possessing several of the birds depicted. Another primary source of specimens was the menagerie of Edward Smith Stanley, 13th Earl of Derby and then president of the Linnean Society (1828-1833).

Lear met Stanley in 1831 and spent time studying the parrots amongst his large collection of animals. Noted as the pinnacle of his natural history productions, during the period before his eyesight began to fail, the illustrations are regarded as exquisitely accurate and appealing. The work was a forerunner to the major volumes of bird paintings by Gould and Audubon, who had both worked with Lear. Sketches and studies for this work are included in the major Lear art collection held at the Harvard University Houghton Library.

The lithographic plates for Lear's publication were produced by Charles Joseph Hullmandel, a printer noted for his reproduction of fine art. The full title is Illustrations of the family of Psittacidae, or parrots: the greater part of them species hitherto un-figured, containing forty-two lithographic plates, drawn from life, and on stone.

42 lithographs with original hand painted color by Edward Lear.


Ireland, Corydon (27 June 2012). "Edward Lear's natural history". Harvard Gazette

List of Images

1. Front Cover

2. Title Page

3. Psittacus badiceps - Bay-Headed Parrot

4. Plyctolophus rosaceus - Salmon-crested Cockatoo

5. Plyctolophus galeritus - Greater Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

6. Plyctolophus sulphureus - Lesser Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

7. Plyctolophus leadbeateri - Leadbeater's Cockatoo

8. Calyptorhynchus baudinii - Baudin's Cockatoo

9. Macrocercus aracanga - Red and Yellow Maccaw

10. Macrocercus ararauna - Blue and Yellow Maccaw

11. Macrocercus hyacinthinus - Hyacinthine Maccaw

12. Psittacara patagonica - Patagonian Parrakeet-Maccaw

13. Psittacara leptorhyncha - Long-billed Parrakeet-Maccaw

14. Psittacara nana - Dwarf Parrakeet-Maccaw

15. Nanodes undulatus - Undulated Parrakeet

16. Platycercus erythropterus - Crimson-winged Parrakeet [Male, Adult]

17. Platycercus erythropterus - Crimson-winged Parrakeet [1. Female, 2. Young Male]

18. Platycercus tabuensis - Tabuan Parrakeet

19. Platycercus baueri - Bauer's Parrakeet

20. Platycercus barnardi - Barnard's Parrakeet

21. Platycercus palliceps - Paleheaded Parrakeet

22. Platycercus brownii - Brown's Parrakeet

23. Platycercus pileatus - Red-capped Parrakeet

24. Platycercus pileatus - Red-capped Parrakeet [Female]

25. Platycercus stanleyii - Stanley Parrakeet

26. Platycercus stanleyii - Stanley Parrakeet [Young Male]

27. Platycercus unicolor - Uniform Parrakeet

28. Platycercus pacifcus - Pacific Parrakeet

29. Palaeornis novae-hollandiae - New Holland Parrakeet [1. Male, 2. Female]

30. Palaeornis melanura - Black-tailed Parrakeet

31. Palaeornis anthopeplus - Blossom-feathered Parrakeet

32. Palaeornis rosaceus - Roseate Parrakeet

33. Palaeornis columboides - Pigeon Parrakeet

34. Palaeornis cucullatus - Hooded Parrakeet

35. Palaeornis torquatus - Rose-Ringed Parrakeet, Yellow Variety

36. Trichoglossus rubritorquis - Scarlet-collared Parrakeet

37. Trichoglossus matoni - Maton's Parrakeet

38. Trichoglossus versicolor - Variegated Parrakeet

39. Lorius domicella - Black-capped Lory

40. Psittacula kuhlii - Kuhl's Parrakeet

41. Psittacula taranta - Abyssinian Parrakeet

42. Psittacula torquata - Collared Parrakeet

43. Psittacula rubrifrons - Red-fronted Parrakeet

44. Psittacula swinderniana - Swindern's Parrakeet

45. Back Cover

Publication Information

Publisher: London : Published by E. Lear




ISBN-10: N/A

Date Added: 2019-04-25

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