A Park with a Swan and Other Birds
HONDECOETER, Melchior d' (1636 - 1695)
Media: oil on canvas
Size: 213.0 x 213.0 cm
Acquired: 1919; Bequest; Emily Talbot
Accession Number: NMW A 2032
This is one of six canvases by the Antwerp painter Melchior d'Hondecoter which hung in the London home of Emily Charlotte, a daughter of C.R.M. Talbot (1803-90) of Margam Abbey and PenriceCastle. It depicts a country house park with fowl before a fountain and an ornamental terrace with statues and figures. Hondecoeter specialized in large decorative canvases populated with live birds. He painted both domestic and exotic birds with great realism, emphasizing their beauty of their colours and textures. Here European birds are shown alongside a peacock, a North American turkey and an African crowned crane in front of a fountain on an ornamental terrace. Such paintings were often used to decorate the country houses of wealthy Dutch patrons.