Original Article

Journal of Ornithology

, Volume 150, Issue 3, pp 645-649

First online:

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

  • Jasmina MužinićAffiliated withDepartment for Ornithology, Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts Email author 
  • , Jasenka Ferber BogdanAffiliated withFine Arts Archives, Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts
  • , Bruce BeehlerAffiliated withIndo-Pacific Field Division, Conservation International

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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.


Birds of paradise Julije Klović Giulio Clovio Trade skins Europe