Almost certainly one of Audubon's greatest works
and a masterpiece of engraving by Robert Havell, every frond of the
tail feathers having been individually engraved on the plate.
However, in many instances Havell had engraved the
feathers in such a way so as to be three dimensionally impossible,
reminiscent of Maurits C. Escher. In
all the original prints the colourists took little heed of Havell's
fine detail and
merrily splashed colour across most of it. These very
detrimental faults have now been fully corrected and for the
first time it is now possible to see this magnificent image in its
true, full glory. A breathtaking example of Audubon's artistry.
The agama lizard is absent from the original watercolour of the White Heron,
being found instead in the watercolour of the
Common Buzzard (published, minus the agama, as Plate 372 also
dated 1837). Both these water colour images were dramatically
changed and enhanced during the engraving process and the resulting
prints are as much to the credit of Robert Havell as to Audubon.