Exceptional Pair of Oils on Canvas, Assembly of Exotic Birds
Paintings of exotic birds, fowl, and game animals were popular subjects for artists from the 17th century onward. Quite often the scenes were derived from collections of taxidermy to help create the correct anatomy and scale amongst them. This large-scale pair was possibly two of many commissioned for a wonderful country retreat of Italy's Grand Duchy of Tuscany as it is extremely close in style to works attributed to the Medici's collection. Cosimo III is said to have taken great “pleasure in assembling everything that he could of the myriad Products of Nature”, and, like his distant ancestors, he enjoyed a reputation as an avid collector of rare fauna and flora".
Peacocks specifically have been a symbol of wealth, beauty, and rebirth since ancient times. Their images could be found in early Christian tomb art and were a favorite motif in ancient Rome and Byzantium. The use of exotic birds in saturated hues is also an example of the Eastern Influence on European Decorative Arts. This particular style characterized by extravagance was used widely thought European Art, Furniture and architecture during the 17th and 18th centuries, reaching its height from 1750-to 1765.
In period molded frames retaining original 23K gold leafing.