In the Footsteps ofAudubon

By Denis Clavreul

Princeton University Press, 2022

Hbk, 250pp; 272 colour & black-and-white illustrations

ISBN 978-0-691-23768-8; £34.99

In the Footsteps of Audubon is primarily an art book but with a clear path – both metaphori-cally and physically. The artist follows, rather broadly, the journey made by John James Audubon through his life, visiting seven loca-tions, all of which were significant to him in some way or other. Each chapter sets the scene, both historically and contemporarily, with several pages of text and small sketches, fol-lowed by 20 or more pages of just art with cap-tions. There is a clear focus on nature – birds in particular – and landscapes, but observa-tions of important buildings and human actions also appear. The pencil-and-watercolour art has a raw, straight- from-the-field quality to it; this contrasts strongly with the Aubudon originals, which are scattered through the chapter openings and are stiff and over-finished in comparison.

I found this book to be both fascinating and beautiful, and the mix of history and art is likely to appeal to anyone with an interest in either subject.

Stephen Menzie

Issue 8
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