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Mark Catesby (1682-1749)

The Nuthatch, the Small Nuthatch and the Highland Willow Oak c.1722-26

RCIN 924835

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Like many of Catesby’s drawings, this work shows the artist’s concern with recording the distinctive traits of the birds he depicts: nuthatches navigate tree trunks with their heads toward the ground, as seen here. Catesby probably drew the birds from life, which was his usual working method. His publications were the first substantially illustrated natural history of North America and were of great value to the European scientific community. Purchased by George III in 1768 Cat. 178