A Hawking Party

Artist or maker:
Maes, Dirk (b.1659, d.1717)
previously attributed to Jan van Huchtenburgh (Dutch, b.1647, d.1733)
dated stylistically
Place of production:
Haarlem, Holland, Netherlands
oil on canvas
Type of object:
Accession number:


Dirk Maes produced several paintings showing elegant men and women riding or hunting in parkland. This work was once attributed to Jan van Huchtenburg, Maes's friend, who influenced his style, but it is signed by Maes and shows similarities with other paintings by him. His ladies sometimes wear extravagant plumed hats and he often included fountains with classical statues, as in this work.

Maes was from Haarlem and studied under Nicolaes Berchem, specialising in equestrian scenes. He moved to the Hague sometime in the 1680s and began working for William III, Prince of Orange Nassau. He went with him to England and drew military scenes of his campaigns, using his skills at depicting vast receding landscapes which he also employed in this later work. He decorated William's hunting lodge and painted several pictures of him hunting.

This painting draws on similar imagery but probably shows an imaginary landscape and event. The palace, seen behind the trees to the left, appears to be a fantasy. Maes has also arranged the figures to form a triangle, focussed on the hunting bird of prey. The chaos of the chase has been ordered to suit the calm elegance of the party.

Phillippa Plock, 2011

Physical description

Dimensions (mm):
508 x 680
480 x 635 - sight
Signature & date:
signed, lower left: D. Maas C.
[seal with count's coronet above a shield supported by two unicorns]
Owner's mark
on verso


Acquired by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild (b.1839, d.1898); inherited by his sister Alice de Rothschild (b.1847, d.1922); inherited by her great-nephew James de Rothschild (b.1878, d.1957); given to Waddesdon, The Rothschild Collection (The National Trust) by the Treasury Solicitor in lieu of taxes on the Estate of Mr James de Rothschild in 1963.
Waddesdon (National Trust)
Accepted by HM Government in lieu of inheritance tax and allocated to the National Trust for display at Waddesdon Manor, 1963



Ellis Waterhouse, Anthony Blunt; Paintings: The James A. de Rothschild Collection at Waddesdon Manor; Fribourg; Office du Livre, The National Trust; 1967; p. 154, cat. no. 64, ill.

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