Edward Lear (1812-1888)
Lear was was an English artist, illustrator, musician, author and poet. By the age of 16 was already drawing "for bread and cheese" and soon developed into a serious "ornithological draughtsman" employed by the Zoological Society and then from 1832 to 1836 by the Earl of Derby, who kept a private menagerie at his estate, Knowsley Hall. He was the first major bird artist to draw birds from real live birds, instead of skins. Lear's first publication, published when he was 19 years old, was Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidae, or Parrots in 1830. One of the greatest ornithological artists of his era, he taught Elizabeth Gould whilst also contributing to John Gould's works and was compared favourably to the naturalist John James Audubon. His eyesight deteriorated too much to work with such precision on the fine drawings and etchings.