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Mark Catesby at the Gibbes | The Parrot of Carolina

by Peter Ingle

CATESBY OBVIOUSLY had a fond admiration for this “Small Parrot” of Carolina, which may be why this watercolor wins the prize for best combination of most beautiful and most pleasing to look at in this exhibit. But, why is it so satisfying? Why does it immediately make you happy? With Catesby, of course, there’s always... Read »

Mark Catesby at the Gibbes | Ivory-billed woodpecker

by Peter Ingle

THIS GORGEOUS PORTRAIT of an ivory-billed woodpecker (now on display at the Gibbes) is one of the most compelling pieces in this exhibit. One reason for that may be because it is equally powerful and perplexing. Its power derives partly from the bird’s size, which dominates the full height and nearly half the width... Read »

Mark Catesby at the Gibbes — the Black Snake

by Peter Ingle

THIS WATERCOLOR stands out in several ways. One way is how Catesby has the snake itself “standing” out, as though it has lifted one quarter of its body into the air—which I have never seen a black snake do in quite this manner. It could be that this was Catesby’s way of bringing to life... Read »

Mark Catesby at The Gibbes — The Little Owl

by Peter Ingle

NO KNOWN PORTRAITS of English naturalist Mark Catesby (1682–1749) exist, but if you look carefully you’ll see him in each of the watercolors and etchings now on exhibit at the Gibbes. If a portrait of Catesby is ever found, I also suspect it will resemble this exquisite rendering of an owl—which you may find watching you as you... Read »

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It is with life as it is with art: the deeper one penetrates, the broader the view.                   
~ Johann Goethe