James Harvey British Art

Adriaen Van Oolen ()

ADRIAEN VAN OOLEN (1651 -1709)
Oil on Canvas
Dimensions: Height: 64.0 in (162.6 cm)
Width: 79.0 in (200.7 cm)
Stock No.: P3B0057
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A Goose, a variety of Ducks, a Magpie and other Birds in an Italianate Garden

Oil on canvas
64 x 79in. (162.6 x 200.7cm.)

Adriaen Van Oolen’s work was strongly influenced by Melchior d’Hondecoeter, the master painter of birds and fowl (who was a resident of Amsterdam from 1668 until his death in 1695). Like Hondecoeter, van Oolen carried on the tradition of bird and fowl painting, based ultimately on the genre developed by the great Flemish animal and still-life painter, Frans Snyders. He was so successful that his works have often been mistaken for Hondecoeter’s and attributed to the ‘Raphael of bird painters’ as a result.

These influences are apparent in this work. In compositional formula, the great variety of birds in their different poses are typical - some still, some moving and some even cropped to give a rather contrived sense of spontaneity. The division of the background is also characteristic, with classical ruins and a stone relief of a bacchanal in the left half opening up into an Italianate garden landscape on the right. The selection of birds too can be related to other works known to be by the artist. Here, in the foreground, are exotic ducks and geese, with a magpie top-left. Within the garden landscape are crowned pigeons and flamingos. The overall effect, with its high degree of finish, is a striking example of van Oolen’s manner.

This painting is sold with a certificate from Sam Segal dated 9th December 2001, who describes it as ‘a characteristic work’ of the artist’s. He compares it to several signed paintings, for instance similar still lifes sold at Sotheby’s, London, on 2nd November, 2000, lot no.5 or at Christie’s, London, on 9th July, 1999, no.74.