Sunday, 30 October 2016


Exquisite feather detail - a feature of Ede's work

Birds of Town and Village, which featured 36 full-colour plates, all of which seemed to make his subjects come alive.

Basil Ede’s Birds, which, like its predecessor featured common British birds.

which contained 103 studies.

The original intention had been to paint 650, all life-sized, but he had only completed 90 when, aged 58, he suffered a severe stroke which cost him the use of his right hand.

Remarkably, he retrained himself to paint left-handed and completed another 13 studies before the publishers decided the time had come to publish the book in 1991.

Ede’s  attention to detail was so precise that sometimes he would use a brush with just a single hair.

Initially, his favoured medium was  watercolour which he would mix with Chinese White, a tint made from zinc oxide, which would make the watercolours opaque rather than transparent.

However, following the stroke, he switched to oil because it was an easier medium to wipe clear if he made a mistake.

His work also featured on numerous greetings cards, calendars and china objects.

Collectors of his work include Prince Philip. 

In 2003, Ede donated a life-sized oil painting of the American bald eagle to the American nation. It was presented on his behalf to President George W Bush and wife Laura at the White House.

The author  was an enthusiastic supporter of the RSPB and donated the proceeds from some of his paintings to the charity.

He died on September 29 this year following a short illness.

Bee-eaters - one of the artists many superb studies

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