Aert Schouman
Ornamental Birds in a Landscape

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Aert Schouman started his painting career as a pupil of Adriaan van der Burg to whom he was apprenticed for eight years. He came from the town of Dordrecht and was head of the Guild there from 1742 until his death. However, he moved to The Hague in 1748 becoming regent of the Drawing School there in 1751 and it is here that he really spent the majority of his working life. He is known to have been in Middelburg in 1761 and in Great Britain in 1765. His founding of the 'Confrerie' in The Hague (of which he was headman from 1752 - 62) encouraged a blossoming art scene in both Dordrecht and his adoptive city.

Schouman specialised in pictures of birds in the manner of Hondecoeter and Weenix but with more flamboyant (and typically 18th Century) colouring and composition. But he was also a prodigioustalent in many other areas such as glass engraving and printmaking, as well as a collector and dealer. He also painted portraits and a few historical and genre compositions. His most celebrated works of this type are his depictions of scenes from Ovid's Metamorphosis.

His thriving studio produced a number of talented Dordrecht painters and his pupils included Joris Ponse, Jan van Os, Jacobus Vonck and Martinus Schouman.

Ornamental Fowl in a Landscape
Oil on Canvas
Shaped wooden frame
82 3/4 x 37 inches (210 x 94 cms)
84 x 42 inches framed
Signed and Dated: "A.Schouman. / 1759"

Provenance: Commissioned by Adriaen Stoop (1715-1771) for 'De Onbeschaamde' house, Wijnstraat 123, Dordrecht;
Their sale Dordrecht (Mak) sale, 15th June 1910, lot 5, Illus;
Private Collection, Spain

Exhibited: Koninklijk Paradijs, Aert Schouman, Dordrechts Museum, 19th February to 17th September, ex catalogue as a late rediscovery to the exhibition.

Note: This painting is originally from the gardenside room of the 'De Onbeschaamde' house in Wijnstraat 123, in Dordrecht. The house was inherited by Johanna Everwijn (the wife of Stoop) in 1745 from her mother Maria Onderwater. The house had been designed and built by Pieter Post from 1650 - 1653. From 1757- 1761 Stoop renovated the interior in the style of Louis XV and Schouman was a key part of this painting many decorative schemes. The interior scheme was broken up at the sale of 1910 and only three pieces remain in situ today (a chimney piece and two allegorical overdoor pieces).

The birds depicted include (top to bottom): Spotted Woodpecker (?), domesticated Pigeons, Silver Pheasant, Great Curassow and a red crested Pochard.

We are grateful to Charles Dumas, Sander Paarlberg and Elizabeth Jackson for their kind assistance in identifying the original situation for the painting and the identification of the birds respectively.


  • Artist
    Aert Schouman (1710-1792, Dutch)
  • Creation Year
  • Condition
  • Dimensions
    82.75 in. H x 37 in. W
  • Seller Location
    London, United Kingdom
  • Reference Number
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