LOW, Rosemary - BUTTERWORTH, Elizabeth. Amazon Parrots. London: Rodolphe d'Erlanger/The Basilisk Press, 1983.
Folio (17 x 13 6/8 inches). Frontispiece and 27 EXCEPTIONALLY FINE color plates, tipped-in, after paintings by Butterworth, EXTRA-ILLUSTRATED with an original hand-coloured etching by Butterworth, matted and loosely inserted. Original red silk over boards; preserved in a black cloth clamshell box with printed paper label on the spine (box a bit dusty).
AS NEW. LIMITED EDITION, number 31 of 100 numbered copies signed by the author and illustrator, accompanied by an original hand-coloured etching by Butterworth, of a total edition of 515. Rosemary Low is one of the world's premier experts on the care and conservation of parrots.
Elizabeth Butterworth "is not the first British artist to succeed in capturing on paper the brilliant plumage of Macaws, but with Edward Lear she must be considered one of the best. Certainly she is without rival this century. Her success stems partly from intense powers of observation and party from an encyclopaedic knowledge of her subject. She has bred Macaws, looked after them, fed them and listened to their noisy antics from the first call of the morning to the last shriek at night. She has sketched them in the privacy of her back garden and in their natural state in the rain forests of South America. She has examined the skins of dead birds in natural history museums in London and New York and she could tell you the number of feathers in a tail and the size of a beak to the nearest millimetre.
"It is this attention to detail combined with powers of observation that lifts her prints, watercolours and drawings from plain description into the realms of high art. Although she belongs to a distinguished ornithological tradition in which British artists like John Gould and Archibald Thorburn have excelled, she seems closer to a watercolourist like Edward Lear who can be appreciated as an artist on his own level and whose work appeals to collectors who do not know a Macaw from a Toucan. Her realism has surreal or super-real quality, and it is this aspect of her work which caught the eye of critics and curators on both sides of the Atlantic (and in Australia) and which has led to her work being exhibited alongside that by other contemporary artists in prestigious shows in New York, including the survey of contemporary art held at the Museum of Modern Art in 1984" (Elizabeth Butterworth online).