Description & Technical information

Depicted at the top of the sheet is an adult male paradise riflebird. Found in the rainforests of eastern Australia, the paradise riflebird has a range which follows the coast from southeastern Queensland to northeastern New South Wales. The plumage of the male and female riflebird is vastly different. Adult males are almost completely black, except for the iridescent blue and green of their crown, throat and tail feathers and the vibrant green found on their lower breast and flank. In contrast, adult females are grey-brown with reddish-brown primary and secondary wing feathers and a white stripe along the top of their head. One of the most interesting facts about the paradise riflebird is that when an adult male is trying to woo a potential mate, he partakes in a mating dance which involves raising both wings into the air, before he throws his head back and whips it from side to side to best show off his iridescent throat. 

With a vast range that spans from southeastern China all the way to down to the Greater Sunda Islands of Borneo, Java, Sulawesi and Sumatra, blue-throated bee-eaters can be found in a wide array of habitats in lower elevations. As is indicated by their name, blue-throated bee-eaters have a diet which consists of a variety of flying insects, including bees, wasps, dragonflies, beetles, and other large flies. A small, colourful bird, both adult males and females share the same plumage with a signature blue throat and long trailing central tail feathers. They are known to produce a number of different vocalisations, from long calls and alarm calls to low chirps, purrs, and sharp coos.

Medium: Watercolour, pen and brown ink and wash, with framing lines in pencil.
Signature: Signed and dated Edouard Travies pt. 1835. in the lower margin.

Dimensions: 170 x 100 cm (66⁷/₈ x 39³/₈ inches)
Provenance: Marcel Jeanson, Paris
Thence by descent until 1988
Jeanson sale, Monaco, Sotheby’s, 16 June 1988, lot 297
Richard J. Schwartz, Upper Nyack, New York and Lyford Cay, Bahamas
Thence by descent until 2017.

Categories: Paintings, Drawings & Prints