- Inventory number
- Snyders, Frans (Flemish)
- Concert of the Birds
- 79 cm x 151 cm
- On display
- Colección I Marqués de Leganés, 1652-55, nº 60; Colección Real (Torre de la Parada, El Pardo-Madrid; Palacio Real Nuevo, Madrid, paso de tribuna y trascuartos, 1772, nº 1019; Palacio Real Nuevo, Madrid, cuarto de la serenísima infanta-dormitorio, 1794, nº 1019).
Depictions of different types of birds perched on tree trunks, sometimes alongside a musical score, were made popular by Flemish artists during the early seventeenth century, especially Frans Snyders.
And, while these are generally considered allusions to the sense of hearing, that interpretation is not entirely clear. Others include the possibility that they represent wisdom through the presence of an owl, which embodies that concept and which often seems to be directing those bucolic concerts.
At any rate, the diversity of bird images makes this type of paintings an attractive manifestation of nature, making them collectors' items for aristocrats and bourgeois, who often hung them in their country houses.
This painting, like another in the Prado Museum Collection (P1758), was probably donated to Felipe IV by the Marquis of Leganés. By 1636 it was hanging in Madrid's Alcázar Palace.