John Gould is perhaps the most respected and prolific of all the ornithological artists. His passion for ornithology was coupled with great skill as an artist and throughout his life (1804-1881) he travelled to every continent in pursuit of this interest. The result was the production of nearly 3000 lithographs of birds from around the world grouped together in large folios to designate their country of origin. Assisting him in this monumental task were several other accomplished artists including Edward Lear, H. Richter, Joseph Wolf, W. Hart and even his wife, Elizabeth Gould.
John Gould and his family travelled to Australia in 1838 and did not return to England until 1840. During this time he gathered information on a huge number of bird species that were native to this part of the world, including over 300 that had hitherto been unrecorded.
Gould's birds remain some of the most decorative and sought after ornithological studies ever produced.