184 pages, b/w photos, colour illustrations
A humble man, yet with a commanding presence, J. Fenwick Lansdowne (Canadian, 1937–2008) was a passionate naturalist whose careful study of and innate affinity with the world of birds forged an extraordinary body of work. The first book to present a comprehensive overview of the artist's life and work, J. Fenwick Lansdowne presents more than 160 illustrations, while seven essays provide analytical perspectives and personal reminiscences.
Lansdowne's paintings are as meticulous in their details as they are arresting in their sensitive portrayals. A birder from a young age – he was observing and drawing the avian world as a twelve-year-old – Lansdowne became one of the most renowned and esteemed bird artists of all time. While comparisons are quick to be made with the work of John James Audubon, Lansdowne's paintings uniquely reflect the essential nature of the birds he depicted. As Robert McCracken Peck explains in his essay, it was Lansdowne's "extraordinary ability to combine the physical, intellectual, and emotional understanding of avian life that allowed [him] to infuse his paintings with such authority and power."
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J. Fenwick Lansdowne was born in Hong Kong and raised in Victoria, British Columbia. His first exhibition of watercolors, at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, at the age of nineteen, met with immediate widespread acclaim and led to his works being exhibited internationally. His many honors included the Order of British Columbia and election to the Royal Academy of Arts.
Tristram Lansdowne was born in 1983 in Victoria, British Columbia, to Helen and Fenwick Lansdowne. He studied visual arts at the University of Victoria and at the Ontario College of Art & Design, and has exhibited across Canada and the United States. He was a semifinalist in the 2011 RBC Painting Competition, and in 2013 his work was acquired by the National Gallery of Canada. Currently he lives in Toronto.
Graeme Gibson has been a founding member and chair of the Writers' Union of Canada, the Writers' Trust of Canada, and PEN Canada. A longtime conservationist, he has been a council member of the World Wildlife Fund Canada and is currently joint honorary president, with Margaret Atwood, of BirdLife International’s Rare Bird Club. He has written four novels, a book of interviews, and two miscellanies.
Tony Angell has won numerous awards for his artwork, including the prestigious Master Artist Award of the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum. His sculptural forms celebrating nature are to be found in public and private collections throughout North America.
Patricia Feheley is owner and director of Feheley Fine Arts, an exclusive Toronto art gallery specializing in early and contemporary Inuit art. She has represented Canada’s leading artists via private and commercial galleries.
Robert Genn is one of Canada’s best-known painters. His oils and acrylics include the landscape and indigenous peoples of the coast of British Columbia, the Rocky Mountains, and Canada’s far north.
Robert McCracken Peck is a senior fellow of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. The author of numerous articles and books, he has served as a natural history consultant to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Princeton University Library, Reader’s Digest Books, and David Attenborough and the British Broadcasting Corporation.
Nicholas Tuele is sole proprietor of The Art of Art Consulting, a specialty company that provides tailored solutions to cultural institutions, collectors, and artists.