George Edward Lodge1860 - 1954
Painter, Engraver, Illustrator
Born: December 3, 1860, Scrivelsby, Lincolnshire, Engl.
Died: February 5, 1954
At an early age, George Lodge developed an interest in birds. He explored the local countryside with his brother, R.B. Lodge, who later became a famed bird photographer. At the age of twelve, Lodge began collecting and skinning birds. He believed that in order to draw a bird properly, he must be well acquainted with the interior anatomy. He attended the Lincoln College of Art and later apprenticed to a wood engraver. As wood engraving fell out of favor with the public, Lodge turned to painting. His early work was often exhibited at the Royal Academy in London. Lodge was an avid sportsman. He researched birds of prey in Scotland and Norway, as well as the West Indies, Japan, and Ceylon. Lodge was also a keen falconer, known to carry a falcon on his arm when going around London. At the age of ninety-two and with one impaired eye, Lodge completed 389 plates including 426 species of birds for David Bannerman's Birds of the British Isles, a twelve volume epic. He illustrated over sixty books during his career and, in 1945, Lodge wrote and illustrated his only book Memoirs of An Artist Naturalist.
Lodge often worked in the field to better understand the relationship between birds and their habitats. He believed landscapes should be painted from direct observation rather than from memory. The National Museum of Wildlife Art's Gyr Falcon and Young depicts four Gry falcons on a rocky point. The atmospheric background drifts off into the distance, while the focus is brought directly to the main subject. Lodge paints the falcons in great detail from four different angles, paying close attention to their beautiful feathers. This large work is an excellent example of Lodge's realistic style.