Magpie Jay, Calocitta formosa
Flora: poison ivy, Rhus radicans
Print size: 26 1/4" x 39 1/4"; image size: 24 1/2" x 36"
Princeton Audubon Limited Edition - produced 1985
Each of the two jays was painted separately and in 1829 arranged in a composition depicting them perched on a dead limb entwined with poison ivy.
"The specimen from which the drawings were taken," Audubon wrote, "was presented to me by a friend who had received it from the Columbia River, and is the only individual...which I did not receive on the spot."
Actually, the bird is a native of Mexico rather than the Columbia River area in Oregon, and in painting it, Audubon departed from an early resolve never to draw from a stuffed specimen. In so doing, he erred and included the magnificent magpie jay with his northwestern birds.
Princeton Audubon prints are direct-camera facsimile lithographs of the Robert Havell Jr. (1793-1878) engravings for The Birds of America (1827-38). Princeton's Double elephant Folio prints are issued in limited editions of 500 or 1500 prints. All are numbered and have a seal in the bottom margin to demonstrate their authenticity.
Printed on heavy Mohawk paper that is recommended by the Library of Congress for archives, the paper is specially toned to match the average paper color of the antique originals.