The warwoven from Chile. William HAYES.

The warwoven from Chile.

London: 1785.

Original watercolour on paper with faint outline of engraving, 250 x 360 mm., signed and dated lower right, mounted.

An original watercolour by the highly regarded artist William Hayes (1727-1799)

An original watercolour by the highly regarded artist William Hayes (1727-1799)
Despite a complete lack of training in any field, Hayes discovered a natural aptitude for painting birds. His first book, A Natural History of British Birds, 1775, was fifteen years in the making, and many of the birds were drawn from life either during field trips or from specimens he kept in captivity. Others were drawn from specimens sent to him by the Duchess of Portland's birdkeeper.
In the mid-1780s Hayes went to live at Southall, a short walk from Osterly Park. Osterly, remodelled by Robert Adam in the 1760s, was owned by the Childs. Like the Duchess of Portland, Sarah Child was an enthusiastic collector of exotic birds. When Horace Walpole visited Osterly Park in 1773, he admired "the menagerie full of birds that came from a 1000 islands, which Mr. Banks has not yet discovered". The Childs commissioned Hayes to paint portraits of a number of their live birds, as did John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich.
Following the deaths of Montagu and both Robert and Sarah Child, Hayes was left without a patron and in severe financial straits with ten children to support (of the twenty-one he had fathered). He decided to turn the numerous drawings and more than sixty etched copper plates that he had used for his Rare and Curious Birds Accurately Drawn from Specimens in the Menagery at Osterly Park, into a larger work, which he dedicated to Thomas Pennant, and sold on a subscription basis.
The birds Hayes chose to depict demonstrate the taste for New World species that prevailed at the end of the eighteenth century, a taste fuelled by news of recent discoveries - this lovely work of a Chilean bird is a fine example of the exotic.

Price (AUD): $1,500.00  other currencies     Ref: #4202787

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