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A Parrot in a Tree

Artist or maker:
Flemish School
Date:
1750-1770
dated stylistically
Place of production:
France
Medium:
oil on canvas
Type of object:
paintings
mirror-heads
Accession number:
8083

Commentary

Little is known about this unframed painting of exotic birds. It once furnished the top of a trumeau mirror. A trumeau mirror was designed to hang over a fireplace.

Its appearance suggests it was made in mid-18th century France. The painting contrasts the exotic parrot with the more familiar squirrel feeding on the grapes. In mid 18th-century France, exotic subjects were fashionable for use in interior decoration. Often displays contrasted the exotic with the familiar, as in this painting, in a manner that domesticated the unknown so that it could be enjoyed as a pleasurable diversion in the comfort of Parisian homes.

It is not known where it came from; it does not appear to be listed in the Waddesdon inventories taken at the deaths of Ferdinand and Alice in 1897 and 1922 respectively. It may have come from the French collection inherited by Dorothy de Rothschild's husband James in 1934.

Phillippa Plock, 2012

Physical description

Dimensions (mm):
625 x 960 (irregular shape)
Physical details:
Stretcher has concave corners, a concave lower edge, and a semi-circular projection from the centre of the upper edge
Signature & date:
not signed or dated

History

Provenance:
Owned by Dorothy de Rothschild (b.1895, d.1988); bequeathed to Waddesdon The Rothschild Collection (The National Trust) in 1988.
Collection:
Waddesdon (National Trust)
Bequest of Dorothy de Rothschild, 1988

Bibliography

Bibliography

Bruno Pons, Geoffrey de Bellaigue; Waddesdon Manor Architecture and Panelling: The James A. de Rothschild Bequest at Waddesdon Manor; England; Philip Wilson Publishers; 1996; pp. 636-7, fig. 605; as not original to mirror panel dating c. 1730

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