1st Edition – ROAAr Monthly Screen Share

1st Edition – ROAAr Monthly Screen Share: 

Spring cleaning your digital desktop? Why not try a new screensaver! ROAAr invites you to check LibraryMatters regularly to download a high-quality image from our free monthly screen-share. We invite you to use it as a background for your desktop or cellphone, or print it out! Provided by McGill Rare and Special Collections. Find a high-quality scan here.

Elizabeth Gwillim. Black-winged stilt (Himantopus himantopus). 1801. Watercolour. McGill University Blacker Wood Collection.

Elizabeth Gwillim’s husband was a judge in their native Britain, but during the period of Britain’s colonial rule over India, Sir Henry was sent to Madras (now Chennai) to serve there on the supreme court. Lady Gwillim was eager to explore her new surroundings – to learn about the Indian people and their customs, and about the unfamiliar landscape and animals that she could see just outside her door. As with most upper class women of that period, she had taken painting lessons throughout her youth; so she put her artistic skills to work, and set out into the jungle to paint as many birds as she could find.  Praised by modern ornithologists for their scientific accuracy, these paintings have recently become the subject of a number of exciting research projects.  And while Audubon is often credited with being the first artist to paint life-sized bird portraits, Gwillim was doing this nearly 30 years earlier.

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