John James Audubon (1785–1851) is one of America’s premier wildlife artists. His monumental Birds of America, a collection of 435 life-sized prints, was published from 1826 to 1838 and is often considered the greatest picture book ever produced. The book huge -- three feet long and two feet wide -- because Audubon wanted to paint the birds as life sized.
One of the best preserved editions of the 19th century masterpiece was just sold for 7.3m GB in London this month, which makes it the most expensive book ever sold. If the book was sold in the United States, the price tag would have been about $11.4 million.
Upcoming from UNP in the summer of 2011 is John James Audubon's Journal of 1826, which is the first accurate transcription of Audubon's journal from the year he traveled to England to seek funding for The Birds of America (where he received a warmer reception than he could have imagined). This much anticipated book sheds light on both The Birds of America and as well as Audubon himself. Plus it has some great images.