Archibald Thorburn art prints and posters

Archibald Thorburn was born in 1860, near Edinburgh, the fifth son of the miniaturist Robert Thorburn ARA. He is now acknowledged as one of the greatest painters of birdlife of all time.

It was perhaps from his father that Archibald Thorburn acquired the ability to create his minutely detailed paintings and he sketched from a very early age. He painted birds, animals and flowers but he specialised in the study of game birds, as he had a tremendous knowledge of ornithology.

Thorburn received little formal artistic training but his career as a painter of birds began in 1883, when he completed 144 plates for WF Swaysland’s Familiar Wild Birds. However, his reputation was firmly established by his contribution to Lord Lilford’s magisterial survey Coloured Figures of the Birds of the British Isles, which was published between 1885 and 1898.

Thorburn’s work created such an impact because he was one of the first British wildlife artists to paint and sketch in the open and from life, rather than in a studio and from stuffed samples. Although he moved to London in 1885, he continued to make sketching tours of Britain throughout his life.

He first exhibited at the Royal Academy at the age of 20, and was a regular figure there throughout the 1880s and 1890s. At the end of the 1890s he became disillusioned with the Academy and exhibited instead at A Baird Carter, in Jermyn Street. Thorburn was also sufficiently highly-regarded by his contemporaries to have been asked to paint Queen Victoria on three separate occasions.

Thorburn wrote many of his own books on birdlife and, as a keen conservationist, was elected Vice President of the RSPB in recognition of his services on behalf of bird preservation.

Generally preferring to work in watercolour, Thorburn’s skill, artistic talent and scientific observation ensured that he was recognised as one of the leading artists of his time. He died in 1935.

Page 1 of 2

Sign up


Sign up now and get a free print

Sign up for the Easyart newsletter to take advantage of this exclusive offer and receive updates on the latest artists and collections.

Bank Holiday Sale
25% off all orders over £25. Use the code AUG25 by 25/08/14


Gives the frame its character and provides the perfect setting for an artwork to be fully enjoyed.

Perspex or glass

Protects the artwork from dust and wilting so that it can be admired for many years.


Adds depth to an image and works with the moulding to enhance and protect the artwork.

Backing board

Bonds to the artwork ensuring it is perfectly smooth and holds the whole frame together.

More about framing


In the Design Studio

We partner with the world's top museums and galleries to bring you exclusive prints of the highest quality. Our teams of designers ensure the colours are accurate, papers are well suited and the best frames are suggested.

Colour Perfecting in the Print Room

In the printing room, artworks are printed on state-of-the-art machines with a team of technicians checking colour and quality every step of the way.

Measuring Up

After being cut down to size, our team carefully finish any stray edges, check measurements and prepare the prints for mounting and framing.

Assembling Frames in the Framing Workshop

We have a team of master framers who work with high-quality, responsibly-sourced wood to create our vast range of framing combinations - each frame is bespoke and made to order for every print.

Hand-finishing in the Framing Workshop

Our selection of hand-finished frames are painted or stained by hand in a variety of colours, and finished with a layer of wax - the end result is a uniquely crafted, beautiful frame that is made to last.

The Last Stop

In this workshop everything comes together - the print, the frame and the glass - in a seamless and stream-lined process.

Mounting the Prints

The artwork is carefully mounted in preparation for framing.

Laying the Glass

Once mounted, the print is ready to be covered by glass or perspex - a delicate procedure but expertly done with not a fingerprint in sight.

The Final Product

After a final, thorough check, the framed print is ready to be carefully packaged up and shipped to the customer.

Transferring to Canvas

For those who order their art as canvas prints, the same amount of attention and care goes into the process. Here, the print is being transferred to a wooden frame.

Finishing the Canvas Edging

As with the framed prints, our canvases are all hand-finished in the workshop - a labour of love from start to finish.