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Melchior d’Hondecoeter (Dutch, 1626–1695), Poultry in a Landscape, oil on canvas, 17th century. 36 3/4 x 44 7/8 in. Gallery 23
Including a turkey, rooster, hen, three bantam Polish hudins, and their offspring, this painting celebrates the type of fowl owned by wealthy landowners in 17th-century Holland. Melchior d’Hondecoeter was known for his bird pieces of both domestic and exotic birds. He seemingly inherited this joy of animal painting from his artist father, grandfather, and uncle, Jan Baptist Weenix, who also created similar scenes from life and taught him his learned skills. Bird paintings were his specialty, but Hondecoeter also painted images of other kinds of animals, as well as scenes of buildings and parks, with remarkable precision.
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