Still life paintings of game birds were immensely popular in the seventeenth century. Here the colorful plumage provides rich visual material, and the additional elements of the glasses, stoneware jug, and rustic wicker basket allow the artist to demonstrate his ability to paint diverse surface textures. Among the types of birds depicted are European Goldfinches, Golden Orioles, and Grey Partridges. The painting is signed and dated in the lower left corner.
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- Titles Still Life with Game Birds (Proper)
- Artist Cornelis Mahu, Flemish, Antwerp 1613 - 1689 Antwerp
- Medium oil on canvas
- Dimensions 21 5/8 x 30 5/16 in. (55 x 77 cm) frame: 30 × 38 5/8 × 2 1/2 in. (76.2 × 98.1 × 6.4 cm)
- Credit Line Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William R. Ireland, 2003.6
- Work Type painting
- Classification Paintings
- On View
- Signature Stretcher bar stamp, verso, top stretcher bar, center left, black stamp: Schlieper / Reckinghausen [?] / Dorstender [?] Str. 57
- Marks Stretcher bar stamp, verso, top stretcher bar, center left, black stamp: Schlieper / Reckinghausen [?] / Dorstender [?] Str. 57
- Inscription Verso, top stretcher bar, left, black crayon: 2/50 [underlined] Verso, top stretcher bar, center left, black crayon: 1203 Verso, top stretcher bar, center left, scalloped-edged rectangular sticker, ink surrounded by printed blue boarder with wave pattern: 1203 Verso, horizontal strainer bar, left, chalk: LOT 54 [faded] Verso, horizontal strainer bar, center, yellow chalk: 3/12/86 Verso, bottom stretcher bar, right, yellow chalk: E0338 Verso, bottom stretcher bar, left, yellow chalk: X W[? characters illegible] ZRAF [?]
- Provenance Collection Josef Cremer (1845-1938), Dortmund, Germany, by 1914 [see note 1]; auctioned at his sale Collection Geh. Kommerzienrat Cremer, Dortmund, Antiquitätenhaus Wertheim, Berlin, May 29, 1929, lot 50 [see note 2]. Private collection, possibly England; auctioned at Important Paintings by Old Masters, Christie's, New York, June 4, 1986, lot 54; purchased by dealer Johnny van Haeften [see note 3]; purchased by dealer Alex Wengraf, November 24, 1986 [see note 4]; purchased by Mr. and Mrs. William R. Ireland, Birmingham, Alabama, 1986; gift to the Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama, 2003
1. Published in Cremer, Josef W. J. and Hermann Voss, Collection Geh. Kommerzienrat Cremer. Vol. 1. Dortmund, 1914. 63, no. 1203, ill. The number 1203 appears in pencil and also on a printed label on the stretcher.
2. A mark in pencil on the back of the stretcher reads 2/50. “2” may refer to the fact that the picture was listed in section 2 of the auction catalog.
3. His catalogue Dutch and Flemish Old Master Paintings (1986), no. 13. His stock number 1381.
4. Chalk marks on the stretcher: Wengraf / 3-12-86 / EO338.