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Provenance

Painted for John James Audubon [1785-1851]; by descent in the Audubon family to his great-grandson, Leonard Benjamin Audubon [1888-1951], Sydney, Australia;[1] sold 1950 to E.J.L. Hallstrom [1886-1970], Sydney, Australia; gift 1951 to NGA.

Exhibition History
1951
Audubon Centennial Exhibition, National Audubon Society, New York, January-February 1951, no. 33.
1951
Audubon Paintings and Prints from the Collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., September-October 1951, no cat.
1953
Extended loan for use by the White House, Washington, D.C., 1953-1954.
1954
[John James Audubon exhibition for the benefit of the Roscoe B. Jackson Memorial Laboratory, Bar Harbor, Maine], Kennedy Galleries, New York, 1954.
1969
Extended loan for use by the White House, Washington, D.C., 1969-1979.
1988
Extended loan for use by Blair House, Washington, D.C., 1988-1994.
2001
Extended loan for use by Administrator Christine Todd Whitman, Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C., 2001-2004.
2001
Extended loan for use by Administrator Michael O. Leavitt in his office at the Environmental Protection Agency, 2004-2005.
2004
Extended loan for use by Administrator Michael O. Leavitt, Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C., 2004-2005.
2005
Extended loan for use by Administrator Stephen L. Johnson, Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C., 2005-2009.
Bibliography
1963
Fries, Waldemar H. "Joseph Bartholomew Kidd and the Oil Paintings of Audubon's Birds of America." The Art Quarterly 26 (1963): 343, 345, 346, 348, fig. 5.
1964
Ford, Alice. John James Audubon. Norman, Oklahoma, 1964: 442.
1970
American Paintings and Sculpture: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1970: 164, repro.
1975
European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 186, repro.
1980
American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1980: 306.
1985
European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 215, repro.
1992
Hayes, John. British Paintings of the Sixteenth through Nineteenth Centuries. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1992: 140-142, repro. 141.
Technical Summary

The light canvas is plain woven; it was lined in 1955. The ground is white, thinly applied. There is a light-colored imprimatura. The forms are underdrawn with a light pencil contour line. The painting is executed in thin, smooth layers ranging from opaque to translucent; the landscape is sketchily painted in thin, translucent glazes. There is extensive craquelure, and scattered retouching, now discolored, was carried out throughout the background and in the nest during restoration in 1955. The synthetic varnish has discolored to a moderate degree.