, Volume 150, Issue 3, pp 645-649
Date: 25 Feb 2009

Julije Klović: the first colour drawing of Greater Bird of Paradise Paradisaea apoda in Europe and its model

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Abstract

The prayer book The Hours of the Blessed Virgin Mary, known as The Farnese Hours, was illustrated by the Croatian miniaturist, Julije Klović, between 1539 and 1546 in Rome. In this masterpiece of Renaissance miniature art, Klović drew in colour a bird of paradise. In 2001, the pictured bird was determined to be a Raggiana Bird of Paradise, Paradisaea raggiana P. L. Sclater 1873. Our later determination shows that it is actually a Greater Bird of Paradise Paradisaea apoda (Linnaeus 1758) and the first drawing of this species in colour in Europe. Klović’s model for the Greater Bird of Paradise was one of the first trade skins of birds of paradise that, from 1522, had been arriving in Europe. Revision of the early drawings of the birds of paradise species in Europe, relevant to the Klović drawing model, has also been carried out and is discussed.

Communicated by F. Bairlein.