This hard cover book is in very good condition overall. The cover has a gilded title on the spine and front cover, and overall the cover has been well protected by the jacket meaning it has no real issues to speak of. The jacket has worn down slightly, and has both markings and some slight fraying in places. Inside, it appears that there is a small marking, which is consistent throughout a portion of the book. It is overall noticeable but minor.
The first volume of Great Bird Paintings includes pictures painted in oils or water-colours before 1699. For centuries, Western art was tied to the discipline of the Roman Catholic Church. Symbolic birds appeared in many renaissance religious paintings. Delicate preparatory water-colour sketches were made for these. Artists who wished to paint birds, shrewdly chose scenes of the animals entering Noah's Ark and the Garden of Eden, which gave them the legitimate excuse to introduce birds. By the end of the sixteenth century, the artists had altered the balance and relegated the biblical scene to the background, with the birds claiming full attention in the foreground. In the mid-seventeenth century they were free of clerical demands and in the Golden Age of Dutch and Flemish painting they produced hundreds of very fine canvases full of delightful birds. At long last, they could fully indulge their delight in painting the beauty of colour and form of the birds that gave them so much pleasure.;Further volumes in the series, covering the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and oriental bird painting, will develop the theme of great bird painting through the ages, tracing its evolution towards the excellence of today's bird art.;The author is an Associate of the Library Association, who has worked as the College Librarian, Mander College, Bedford, and the County Branch Librarian at Radlett, Hertfordshire. She has lectured on local history and bird illustrations, has written six books on birds, numerous articles for various natural history and ornithological publications and local history pamphlets.