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Birds ​of paradise are so breathtakingly beautiful that when their plumes first reached Europe at the beginning of the sixteenth century even the most learned naturalists believed they lived high in the sky, feeding on dew, in paradise. In the following centuries, more species arrived, each more extravagantly and strangely plumed than the last.
This book surveys the paintings made by some of the greatest natural history artists as they struggled to picture the reality of birds they had never seen alive and tells the story of how the several dozen species in this amazing family were eventually discovered in the forests of remote New Guinea.

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