John James Audubon

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John James Audubon
1785-1851
Gray Rabbit: Old male, female, and young. Verso: Drawing of a tail with measurements and notations
Watercolor, opaque watercolor and graphite on cream wove paper; verso: graphite.
23 7/8 x 34 3/16 inches (604 x 870mm.)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan in 1910.
1976.12:4

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Inscription: 
Inscribed in graphite at bottom center, "Common American Hare, or Rabbit. Male. / Lepus Sylvaticus, Bachman. (L. americanus of authors) / 29th Aug 1841. Middle left: Length from snout to root of Tail 15 1/2 inches / do of head 3 1/8- / do of Ears - 2 1/2 / do to end of Tail 16 1/4 - / stretched extremities of form to hid outer feet 24 1/2". Inscribed in graphite on middle right side, "All the Squirrels. .. the coats / of hair in the month of August - / The...and grey are these /...". Inscribed on verso, "I drew this Hare during one of the days of deepest sorrow / I have felt in my life, and my only solace was derived from my Labour. - This morning our beloved Daughter Eliza died at 2 o'clock. - She is now in Heaven, and May our God ever bless her Soul!"
Provenance: 
Theodore Irwin; from whom purchased in 1910 by J. Pierpont Morgan (see Lugt 1509).
Notes: 

Preparatory study for Plate 22 of "The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America," 1845-1848.

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