Last of the Amhersts

Original Artwork by Carel Brest van Kempen

Last of the Amhersts

Carel Brest van Kempen
Original Artwork
Acrylic on Board
7 × 5 in


Artwork Description

“Lady Amherst’s Pheasant (Chrysolophys amherstiae) enjoys a large natural distribution in southern China and Myanmar. The species was named for Sarah, Countess of Amherst, whose husband William sent the first specimens to England early in the 19th century. Before long the birds become favourites in aviaries, and several attempts were made to establish them in the U.K. A population has managed to sustain itself in the less-than ideal conditions of Bedfordshire for over a century. To what degree they’ve been assisted by human hands is hard to say, but their numbers are clearly dwindling; in 2005 it was estimated that no more than 7 roosters persisted. Rather than honestly depicting the English countryside, I opted instead to try to evoke a classic English storybook style for the background.”

– Carel Brest Van Kempen