Book Review | Published:

[Short Reviews]

Nature volume 142, pages 659660 (08 October 1938) | Download Citation



THIS is a volume of large format, consisting mainly of coloured and other drawings-— seventy-two in all—with a few lines of text about each. It is a book of birds as the artist sees them in life, and not of illustrations in which detail is carefully checked from museum specimens. In a short introductory chapter, called “Feathers”, Captain Kelly expounds the difference. “I used to think that herons Were always blue-grey in colour. But I have seen a heron look blue, and pale ash-grey, and purple-grey, and golden-buff in different lights at varying times of day.... The beauty of the feathered coat is that we perceive it as a whole ; as a coherent, fluid vestment, not as a collection of separate feathers”. On the other hand, “the scientifically accurate mapdrawing of a bird's plumage pattern is a specialised form of art, or perhaps craftsmanship”. A second chapter, called “Wings”, discusses form and movement—particularly in flight.

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