Carel Fabritius: The Goldfinch (1654)


(Mauritshuis, The Hague, The Netherlands)

A painting by the Dutch artist Carel Fabritius (1622-1654). Carel Fabritius was a pupil of Rembrandt but later developed his own style. In the 1650s he moved from Amsterdam to Delft and set up a studio there. Fortunately he was killed at a young age during the the explosion of the Delft gunpowder magazine on October 12, 1654. With the explosion a large part of his work was also destroyed so there are only 12 paintings of him left. This trompe-l'œil, of a goldfinch is his best known painting and was probably saved from the ruins of his destroyed home. These birds were popular pets because they could be trained to draw water from a bowl with a miniature bucket - the Dutch name for the bird, a puttertje (= 'little weller) refers to that custom. Painting from 1654.

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