Obituary: The Late John Gerrard Keulemans

Published on 01 July 1912 in Obituaries

ONE of the most interesting personages connected with the ornithological world of the latter part of the nineteenth century, has passed away. To most of the younger school Keulemans, who died on March 29th 1912, at the age of sixtynine years, was known only by name, and few realized the individuality of the unassuming artist, or recognised that for thirty years he was the unrivalled and unequalled draughtsman of ornithological subjects. From 1870 to 1900 scarcely any ornithological work of importance was complete without ” illustrations by Keulemans,” and his sureness of design, combined with his facility of expression, made his beautiful figures always a delight to refer to. Keulemans was a man of few words, and the following brief details of his life will probably be as novel to most as they were to the present writer. Born on June the 8th, 1842, at Rotterdam, of Dutch parents, he was early imbued with the love of natural history, and gifted with Art he entered Leiden Museum at the age of eighteen, and worked there for two years. The love of travel, which characterized his whole life, then led him to Africa on a collecting trip, and at one time he had a coffee plantation on the west coast, but fever forced him to return to Europe, where he again took up a position in the Leiden Museum. The work which made him world-famous, however, commenced in 1869, when he came to England to illustrate books for Bowdler Sharpe, and

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