Renowned and respected 19th century artists like Martin Johnson Heade and Alfred Edmund Brehm had a field day recording testimonies of a fragile Eden in Tropics close or remote that have since been either compromised, endangered or - more radically - eradicated off the surface of the earth. In a strange twist of irony, the contemporary viewer surrenders to the beauty that was surrendered to human covet.
Sources: (1 - 3) Martin Johnson Heade. (4 - 6) Alfred Edmund Brehm. (1) 'Ruby Throat of North America', oil on canvas, 1865, by American artist Martin Johnson Heade (1819-1904), via The Athenaeum. M.J. Heade depicted seascapes, salt marshes, and tropical birds, as well as lotus blossoms and other still lifes. (2) 'Cattleya Orchid, Two Hummingbirds and a Beetle', oil on canvas, 1875-1890, id., via The Athenaeum. (3) 'Heliodore's Woodstar and a Pink Orchid', oil on canvas, circa 1875-1890, id. via The Athenaeum. (4) 'Ausländische Cikaden', from Brehms Tierleben (Brehm’s Animal Life), volume 9, by German zoologist and illustrator Alfred Edmund Brehm (1829-1884), Leipzig and Vienna, 1893-1900. Image downloaded from Imgkid.com, with caption from Unnaturalist. Original source document: Archive.org. (5) 'Two-Toed Sloth', from Brehms Tierleben, id., volume 2. Image downloaded from Old Book Illustrations. Original source document: Archive.org. (6) 'A Spring Day in the Life of Insects', from Brehms Tierleben, id., volume 9. Image dowloaded from Old Book Illustrations. Original source document: Archive.org.