Bird prints
By HOLLAR, W[enceslaus] [after] Francis BARLOW , 1658

Diversae Avium Species Studiosissime ad Vitam Delineatae

Natural History, Science & Medicine
  • Author: HOLLAR, W[enceslaus] [after] Francis BARLOW
  • Publisher: Gulielm Faithorne
  • Publication date: 1658.
  • Physical description: Title page and nine engraved prints.
  • Dimensions: 165 by 220mm. (6.5 by 8.75 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 18306


Known as “the father of British sporting painting”, Francis Barlow was one of the most prolific illustrators and printmakers of the seventeenth century, as well as Britain’s first wildlife painter and the creator of one of the earliest comics, ‘A True Narrative of the Horrid Hellish Popish Plot’ (1682). Barlow was particularly well-respected for his intricate paintings of British wildlife, nine of which were published in print form in 1658, etched by Wenceslaus Hollar.

This collection was entitled ‘Diversae Avium Species Studiosissime ad Vitam Delineatae’, with each plates showing a range of different birds in natural or domestic settings. The title page shows a banner held up by two large and impressive birds, perhaps phoenixes. The avian examples within the collection are largely less grand, with chickens, ducks, pheasants, owls, geese and smaller birds prominently featured, although the final print shows three peacocks, one with its huge decorative tail held open and aloft.


  1. NHG Hollar: Title and Eight Doves both 1654
  2. 1655, 1656, 1657, 1658, 1659, 1660, R198, 1662
  3. Pennington 2124, 2125, 2127, 2128, 2131, 2132, 2133, 2138, 2139, 2143.

Image gallery