19th-Century Dutch School Still Life With Flowers, Fruit & Parrot

19th-Century Dutch School Still Life With Flowers, Fruit & Parrot

This dark 19th-century still life depicts an arrangement of fruit and flowers together with a parrot and squirrel. It’s inspired by 17th-century Dutch and Flemish works, such as those by Jan Davidsz de Heem (1606-1684).

In the foreground, grapes, peaches and pomegranates tumble from porcelain. A rich array of flowers stands above them - each with a symbolic meaning. While on the right, a parrot appears bound on a ring while a slightly manic squirrel devours some walnuts.

As with most 17th-century still lifes, this alluring work suggests an allegory. The squirrel is feasting while the parrot is prone. The squirrel hidden by shadows, the parrot more conspicuous. Who or what does the squirrel represent? Greed? The perils of overindulgence?

The painting is dark and would work very well as a background piece to add interest to brighter elements in your room. For example, you could place it on a wall behind flowers or lighter furniture to create contrast.

Housed in a good later frame.

Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 49” x 48” / 124cm x 122cm
Year of creation: c. 1890
Condition: Artwork presents well. Fine craquelure but the paint is stable. Frame with some light wear.

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