Aert Schouman
Dordrecht 1695-1760 The Hague
A Red Legged Honeycreeper, a Parrot, two Hermit Hummingbirds, a King Bird of Paradise, a Black Hooded Oriole and a Corociiform, on a branch in an imaginary Landscape

PROVENANCE: Anon. sale; Christies New York, 10th January 1990, lot 194.

Private collection, Germany.

Signed 'A Schouman' and dated '1747' Pencil, watercolour, gum arabic, heightened with gold, watermark 'J HONIG' 418 x 336 mm (16 3/8 x 13 in.).

The present watercolour is a characteristic and superb example of Aart Schoumans watercolours of exotic birds. According to Bol, Schoumans watercolour depictions of birds can be divided into two groupsthe second group includes compositions of various types of birds: pheasants, peacocks, turkeys, ducks, chicken and frequently exotic fowl, mostly depicted in parklike surroundings with sculpture or architectural fragments under a tree in the vicinity of a ditch or pool of water. Acquarelles of this last type served also as examples from which potential patrons could choose the subjects to be depicted on their wall hangings1. He drew these from the menagerie in the grounds of Kleine Loo, in the Huis ten Bosch just outside The Hague2. The 17th Dutch interest with the exotic continued well into the 18th Century, and the Stadholder Prince Willem V maintained this menagerie. It is interesting to note that the present watercolour is dated 1747, a year before he took up residence in The Hague.

1.L.J. Bol, Aart Schouman, Ingenious Painter and Draughtsman, Doornspijk, 1991, p. 81

2.L.J. Bol, op. cit., p. 10. fig.1.