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Mademoiselle Pauline Knip was a French bird artist known for her paintings of birds, particularly pigeons. The present drawing is a beautiful example of her work. Rendered in watercolor and body color on wove paper, it depicts a Cream-colored woodpecker (Celeus flavus). This species of woodpecker is native to South America and is known for its distinctive cream-colored plumage.

Knip was married to Joseph August Knip from 1808 until they divorced in 1824. She was the mother of Dutch artist Henriëtte Ronner-Knip, who was also known for her paintings of animals, particularly cats. Knip's work was used in Coenraad Jacob Temminck's multi-part work Histoire Naturelle des Pigeons et des Gallinaces.

This drawing is similar to one sold in The Library of Henry Rogers Fairhaven Sale, Part II, at Sotheby's for the British pound equivalent of $10,000. That drawing featured a Himalayan flameback or similar exotic woodpecker. Both drawings were mounted in similar French-ruled mats.

In late 2022, a Pauline Knip drawing of a bird of paradise sold for 100,800 euros at Christie's Paris.


Henry Rogers Broughton, 2nd Baron Fairhaven
His sale, Wooley & Wallis (2015)

Condition Description
Watercolor and bodycolor on wove paper, with fragmentary watermark "D"[?] in the lower-right corner. Oil stain in the upper-left quadrant retouched. Window-mounted in modern French-ruled mat.
Cf. Sitwell-Ripley, Fine Bird Books, 113.