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Still Life with game birds
Vollenhoven, Herman van
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Vollenhoven, Herman van

Utrecht, 1585 - Utrecht, 1628

See author's file

Still Life with game birds

Ca. 1619. Oil on panel. Not on display

In the immediate foreground, six dead birds arranged on a table that runs parallel to the picture plane stand out against a dark ground. These are, from right to left, three greenfinches, a goldfinch and what appears to be a grouse; the one behind them is difficult to identify. They are all game fowl, making it possible to classify the scene as a still life with game. The light enters from the left, from an external source, and illuminates only the birds` bodies. The paint is applied in small, painstaking brushstrokes that cause the surface to vibrate. The range of colours is basically yellows and browns with slight touches of red in the goldfinch`s feathers.

Willingen and Meijer (2003) report two similar paintings: one signed and dated 1619 (private collection, The Netherlands); and another signed and dated 1613, with a landscape background which, in these authors´s opinion, could be a later addition. In addition, there is a still life with game very similar to the one here at the Palazzo Pitti, Florence: it is Willem van Aelst´s Still Life with Three Death Birds, from around 1652-53 (inv. 1209) (Posada Kubissa, T.: Pintura holandesa en el Museo Nacional del Prado. Catálogo razonado, 2009, p. 317).

Technical data

Inventory number
Vollenhoven, Herman van
Still Life with game birds
Ca. 1619
Height: 26 cm.; Width: 36 cm.
Royal Collection (colección Felipe V, Quinta del duque del Arco, El Pardo-Madrid, décima pieza de verano, 1794, [¿nº 359?]; Quinta del duque del Arco, pieza oncena, 1794, nº 358).

Bibliography +

Salas, Xavier de, Museo del Prado. Catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1972.

Valdivieso, Enrique, Pintura Holandesa del siglo XVII en españa, Universidad, Valladolid, 1973, pp. 57-58.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado. Catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1985, pp. 765.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: inventario general de pinturas, I, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1990.

Gemar-Koeltzsch, Erika., Holländische Stillebenmaler im 17. Jahrhundert, III, Luca, 1995, pp. 1058 n.419/1.

Willigen, Adriaan van der, A dictionary of dutch and flemish still-life painters workin..., Primavera Press, Leiden, 2003, pp. 209.

Aterido Fernández, Ángel; Martínez Cuesta, Juan; Pérez Preciado, José Juan, Colecciones de pinturas de Felipe V e Isabel Farnesio. Inventarios Reales, II, Fundación de Apoyo de la Historia, Madrid, 2004, pp. 486.

Posada Kubissa, Teresa, Pintura holandesa en el Museo Nacional del Prado. Catálogo razonado, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2009, pp. 146-147.

Mena Marqués, M.; Albarrán, V., La belleza encerrada: de Fra Angelico a Fortuny, folleto, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2013, pp. 27 n.102.

Mena Marqués, M.; Albarrán, V., Azúa, F. de, La belleza cautiva. Pequeños tesoros del Museo del Prado, Museo del Prado - Obra Social ''La Caixa'', Barcelona, 2014, pp. 123.

Prado captive beauty: treasures from the Prado Museum, Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, 2015, pp. n.35.

Other inventories +

Inv. Felipe V, Quinta duque del Arco, 1745. Núm. [¿359?].
Decima Pieza de verano [...] [359-360] Dos quadritos de tercia de ancho, y quarta de alto marcos dorados=

Inv. Testamentaría Carlos III, Quinta duque del Arco, 1794. Núm. 358.
Una tercia de ancho quarta de alto, unos pajaros=60.

Museo Real de Pinturas a la muerte de Fernando VII, 1834. Núm. 303.
SALÓN 2º / ESCUELA FLAMENCA [...] Tres cientos tres. Unos pájaros muertos / It.Volkoo/ Yd. / 1.050

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 1262.
H. Vol-how. Esta es la firma del siguiente cuadro. / 1262. Unos pajaros muertos (tabla.) / Alto 1 pie; ancho 1 pie, 3 pulg, 6 lin.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1872-1907. Núm. 1791.
1791.-(1262-M.)-Pájaros muertos. / Alto 0,28; ancho 0,36.T

Exhibitions +

Captive Beauty. Treasures from The Prado Museum
10.10.2015 - 31.01.2016

La bellesa captiva. Petits tresors del Museo del Prado
16.07.2014 - 05.01.2015

Captive Beauty. Fra Angelico to Fortuny
21.05.2013 - 10.11.2013

Displayed objects +


Update date: 16-10-2020 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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