Sarah Stone was probably the first English woman painter of animals to achieve professional recognition.

The high degree of accuracy was assured in Sarah's work, this was essential if a natural history drawing was to be useful for identification purposes. The bird paintings of Sarah Stone, an important visual record of the specimens held in collections in England in the late eighteenth century, include some from the voyages of Captain Cook. Since most of the actual specimens have been destroyed as a result of imperfect preservation, a collection of drawings such as this is one of the few records of what the collections contained. Few collectors of this time produced catalogues, and, for some birds, not only have the stuffed skins disappeared, but the bird has become extinct. Some of the species represented here fall into that category.


Mr Hugh Fattorini; British Rail Pension Fund; loaned to the natural History Museum, 1991.

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