Audubon "Birds of America"

Mourning Doves
 Overall Size 19.5 x 27 inches

Mourning Dove – Plate Reference #201
In this painting Audubon attempted, as he wrote, to give “a faithful representation of two gentle pairs of Turtles (doves) as ever cooed their loves in the great woods. I have placed them on a branch of Stuartia, which you see ornamented with a profusion of white blossoms, emblematic of purity and chastity”. The painting was probably done in 1825 in Louisiana. The pair of birds at bottom was apparently done first; the topmost bird may have been a last addition Audubon made to the painting, since the limb on which it sits is not connected to the branch on which its mate is perched. The silky-camellia, or Virginia-Stuartia, is a member of the tea family.


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