June 20, 2014

Gallery Birds: A Game of...Game?

Generally speaking, pre-Nineteenth century art isn't my thing. Finding myself trapped in an encyclopedic art museum, working my way through those earlier European galleries with my art-loving wife, can get a little....well, it's like how she feels when she comes birdwatching with me. Lately though I've been finding some interest in it by combining our interests and doing a little birdwatching in the four hundred-year old painting galleries.

Still Life with Grapes and Game, Frans Snyders, c. 1630

There is no shortage of still lifes in European painting, including many with game birds, from the Sixteenth century on up to the Nineteenth (still lifes have continued after that, but with birds...not so typically). While I don't get as much of a kick out of looking at dead birds as I do live ones, I did find this helped hold my interest in the early going of our recent tour of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.