Collection: SWainson Butterflies

William Swainson


(Famous British naturalist who emigrated to New Zealand - 1789–1855)

These beautifully colored lithographs are most likely from "Zoological Illustrations" published in London in 1820-21.


Hand Colored Lithographs

Dimensions approx: 9 X 5.5 inches

Swainson's first great voyage was to Brazil from 1816 to 1818 - he returned with thousands of drawings and samples of animal and plants which became the basis for Zoological Illustrations (1820-23). Later works include Works include "Ornithological Drawings of Birds from Mexico and Brazil" (1831-41) and together with Sir John Richardson a study of North American birds "Fauna Boreali Americana" (London, 1829-37). In 1841 he emigrated to New Zealand to become a farmer.

Swainson was a pioneer in the use of lithography for natural history illustrations. He was a friend of John James Audubon who named Swainson's Warbler after him.

For more information about the fascinating life of William Swainson, we recommend the biography on the Encyclopedia of New Zealand website.


More Birds By Swainson
Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3


Butterflies by Swainson



Click on the Individual Images for more detail about each print!


Chlorisses sarpedon
Plate 89
Endymion regalis
Maroon Banded Hair Streak
Plate 85



Marius thelys
Plate 59

Moth, catepillar and pupa
No title - Plate 60

No title
Plate 61
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