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Adriaen van OOLENBeautiful 17th Century Dutch Oil Painting - An Assembly of Birds
Adriaen Van OOLEN (1631 – 1694) An Assembly of Birds oil on canvas 66 x 52 ½ inches, inc. frame Provenance: Sotheby’s, Lot 176, 12th of December 1984 Geoffrey Bennison, Pimlico Road, London Private Collection, Wiltshire The artist has been confirmed by Mr. Rafael Valls, London Adriaen van Oolen was born in Amsterdam in 1630 and died there in 1694. He is the son of Jacob van Oolen and brother to Jan van Oolen, both also painters. Like his brother, he painted compositions of native and exotic birds in Italianate or similar Mediterranean landscapes. His birds are native Dutch species. Van Oolen concentrated on rendering every tone of the feathers in as bright a color as nature would allow, creating a striking ‘floating feathers’. The collection of assorted birds in a landscape, a feature of Dutch and Flemish painting in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, in particular, reminds one of the manners in which other artists of the same period assembled their huge flower pieces. The exotic blooms, imported from all the colonies, with flowers gathered from Dutch gardens at all seasons, were carefully painted into the bouquet, as and when they became available. Bird artists working in aviaries to record exotic foreign species may also have waited for new arrivals when working to commission from a collector. They also had many native bird species that could easily be seen in spring by walking along the dikes. Van Oolen has assembled here foreign, native and domesticated birds in one painting. Van Oolen, along with other bird artists would also be brought unusual captured and injured birds for them to include in their pictures, which they painted over a period of time. This painting possesses, therefore, a dual nature, both aesthetic and ornithological.
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