'Archibald Thorburn was the greatest ornithological artist, superior to all contemporaries in the same field, with a wonderful gift for placing his subjects in harmonious surroundings - his technique was dextrose and bold and his colour brilliant...'

So said his exact contemporary George Lodge, and Archibald Thorburn was certainly blessed with a precocious talent. He was exhibiting ornithological paintings at the Royal Academy from the age of 20, and his major breakthrough came when Lord Lilford employed him to complete the work on Coloured Figures of the Birds of the British Isles (1897) after the original artist, John Gerrard Keulemans, fell ill. Most sporting estates in Britain will have a Thorburn work, and he encompassed the taste for Sporting art in the early 20th Century.