Jan Weenix II (between 1640/1649 – 19 September 1719 (buried)), Falconer’s Bag, 1695 , 134 x 111.1 cm, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Weenix’s name may rhyme with phoenix but these birds will not rise again. They are perpetually desisting and their deadness is the eternal subject of this painting – for as long as pigment adheres to canvas anyway. Falconers always carry bags but seldom do they let us see inside them. In this highly unusual case the edge of the leather sack is visible to the right of the spewed-forth contents: a heron, a bullfinch, a blue tit and a young hawk are thrust before us and interfere with the backdrop of a quiet canal. They appear to be offerings at the base of a pagan monument draped with ornamental cabbages. Fear not, the still-living swans are still alive on the water, drifting out of shot and out of shooting range. DH
For more seventeenth century Dutch and Flemish painting then check out our aptly titled Seventeenth Century Dutch and Flemish Painting.