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Melchior de Hondecoeter - Rich Still Life, 17th century

  

Melchior de Hondecoeter - Rich still life with duck family, pigeons and peacock - A hilly Landscape in the background, 17th century
Oil on canvas
102 x 128 cm

In this oil painting, the famous bird painter Melchior de Hondecoeter (1636 - 1695) depicts a rich still life with a duck family, pigeons and peacocks and a hilly landscape in the background.

In the Bible, after the Flood, Noah sends out three doves, one of which returns with an olive branch. Since then, the dove has become a sign of reconciliation with God and a well-known symbol of peace. In Christian art, the dove is also a symbol for the Holy Spirit. The peacock stands already in early Christianity as a symbol for immortality. The duck, on the other hand, enjoys no positive connotations. It is to be found in early Christian representations symbolizing the babblers, who are to stay away from churches.

De Hondecoeter combines in this painting a rich symbolism with his unique realism of details and his precision in the imitation of nature.