18th CenturyBirds / OrnithologyFine ArtGerman

Tufted Titmouse- 18th Watercolor by Detlef Hartwig Zander after Mark Catesby

Working in the late 18th or early 19th Century,  German artist Detlef Hartwig Zander created a series of ornithological illustrations based on major natural history publications of his time.

This work entitled “Die gehaubte Meisse” in German is based on “Crested Titmouse and Upright Honeysuckle” – Plate 57 of Mark Catesby’s groundbreaking work “Natural history of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands” published circa 1750.

This watercolor over ink painting was has been adapted an original manner by Zander working several decades after the original was published.  The format is smaller, the number of elements has been reduced, and the bird and honeysuckle blossom have been brought into great proximity.  We are not certain what Zander’s purpose was in creating these works, but it may have been for a smaller format editions of the original, or a compendium of the knowledge of birds of his time.



Detlef Hartwig Zander

1763 - 1837

Working in the late 18th or early 19th Century, German artist Detlef Hartwig Zander created a series of beautifully detailed watercolor paintings based on engravings from the major natural history works of his time, for example Mark Catesby’s “Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands.”  In his watercolors, Zander adapted the works which inspired him in an original way, reducing the size, and executing the birds in a uniquely charming manner.  We believe these watercolor paintings were likely studies for a new and smaller scale anthology, since each bears a plate number which does not correspond to the plates in the original works.

Watermark: The letter A in a Circle

Dimensions: 30 x 27.2 cm
Signed: D.H. Zander delin. / Tab CXVII

When acquired by us, this work had the following note shown below on the back.