Abbott Handerson Thayer, known best for his paintings of ethereal angels, allegories, women and children, and delicate landscapes, considered his paintings an expression of spirituality and Transcendentalism. Known among contemporaries as a “soul painter,” Thayer withdrew from bustling city life in order to paint more meditative subjects. In his later career, his brushwork became looser, his colors more vivid and bright. Thayer was also an amateur naturalist and a lover of birds. He believed his training in color theory, composition, and observation equipped him with an ability to understand how animals disguised themselves in the wild. In 1909, he wrote Protective Coloration of the Animal Kingdom with his son, which was used as a guide for camouflage in World War I.