Artist: John James Audubon
Date: Circa 1840s
Drama and design come together in one of his most famous, and controversial, plates - mockingbirds defending a nest against a timber rattler. Claiming that rattlesnakes do not climb trees, and that mockingbirds do not come to the aid of another nest, Audubon's enemies attacked him. As it turns out, rattlesnakes can climb, but rarely do. This is one of only 4 snakes that Audubon painted in his lifetime.