Radiant Reindeer (constellation Rangifer) 30"x 40" acrylic, charcoal and silver leaf on canvas
"Rennthier" (Germanized) in Vorstellung der Gestirne by Johann Elert Bode, 1782
"Rangifer" (Latinized) in Uranographia by Johann Elert Bode, 1801
"ReinDeer" (English) by Thomas Young in A Course of Lectures on Natural Philosophy, 1807
"Tarandus" (species-specific - Rangifer tarandus, the caribou) by Alexander Jamieson in Celestial Atlas, 1822
"Rangifer's undoing began when it was left out of Elijah Hinsdale Burritt’s popular Atlas Designed to Illustrate the Geography of the Heavens (1835). Burritt did show Rangifer’s stars, but he labeled the neighboring figure of Camelopardalis in a way that indicated those stars belonged to Camelopardis rather than Rangifer. And Rangifer suffered another blow when it was left out of Friedrich Argelander’s Neue Uranometrie (1843) altogether; Argelander drew a boundary between Cassiopeia and Cepheus on his circumpolar Plate 1 to more or less evenly distribute Rangifer’s stars between them."
Much like the constellation, the reindeer/caribou population worldwide is rapidly declining and may become extinct. In North America, only one herd of a dozen caribou remains. Photographer David Moskowitz created a documentary to raise awareness for the difficult situation of these magnificent creatures.
10% of the sale of the Radiant Reindeer painting will be donated to the Conservation Northwest, an organization whose mission is to conserve and protect mountain caribou and their habitat. From their website:
A unique ecotype of the woodland caribou subspecies (rangifer tarandus caribou), mountain caribou reside in limited numbers in interior British Columbia, western Alberta, northern Idaho and northeast Washington. Historically, they were also present in northwestern Montana and central Idaho.
Conservation Northwest is a leading organization in the fight to save the critically endangered caribou of the Inland Northwest.
Learn about the collaborative Mountain Caribou Project, an effort we’ve long been involved in with Wildsight and other partners. We’re also supporting a new effort, the Mountain Caribou Initiative, to raise awareness about these important creatures.
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