What is the story behind the painting The Goldfinch?
The Goldfinch, painted by Carel Fabritius in 1654, is one of the most beautiful and mysterious paintings from the Dutch Golden Age. It has never been shown in Scotland before and has been generously lent by the Mauritshuis in The Hague. At the time Fabritius painted this ‘portrait’ of a goldfinch, these little birds were popular pets.
Where is the original The Goldfinch now?
The Goldfinch (Dutch: Het puttertje) is a painting by the Dutch Golden Age artist Carel Fabritius of a life-sized chained goldfinch. Signed and dated 1654, it is now in the collection of the Mauritshuis in The Hague, Netherlands. What did the end of The Goldfinch mean?
Who was Fabritius and the goldfinch?
Before the novel by Donna Tartt has been published, few people have ever heard about such an artist as Fabritius (1622-1654). Much less his small painting The Goldfinch (33 x 23 cm). But it was thanks to the writer that the world recalled the master.
How do you paint a goldfinch?
The goldfinch has been painted vigorously, in brushstrokes that can be clearly distinguished from one another. The paint has been applied in varying thicknesses, and in some places in thick impasto. The little yellow feather in the black wing provides a striking colour accent.
Why is The Goldfinch so unique?
A bird’s perch is attached to a pale, bare wall. A little goldfinch is sitting on the upper bar. The enslaved bird . A chain is attached to its foot, almost not allowing it take wing.
How big is the Goldfinch?
Much less his small painting The Goldfinch (33 x 23 cm). But it was thanks to the writer that the world recalled the master. And became interested in his painting. Fabritius lived in the 17th century’s Netherlands. During the Golden Age of Dutch painting. At the same time he was extremely talented.
Where is the Goldfinch painting?
The Goldfinch (fragment). 1654 The Mauritshuis Royal Gallery, The Hague. Wide, careless strokes. They look as if uncompleted, which creates an illusion of plumage. In some places the paint is slightly shaded with a finger and there are faint spots of lilac paint on the head and the breast.
Which artist painted the light on the dark?
If Rembrandt preferred to paint the light on the dark, Fabritius depicted the dark on the light. In this regard, The Goldfinch is typical for him.
What happened in October 1654?
In case of an unexpected invasion, there was a powder depot in every Dutch town. In October 1654, an accident happened. This depot blew up , as well as one third of the town. At that time Fabritius was working on a portrait in his studio.
Why were goldfinches popular in Holland?
Goldfinches were favorite birds in Holland in the 17th century, since they could be trained to drink water that they scooped up with a small bucket. It entertained bored hosts.
Where did Vermeer move to?
But what’s true for Vermeer, applies to Fabritius as well. After all, one day he moved from Amsterdam to Delft! The town where Vermeer lived. The chances are high that the latter taught our hero the following technique.
How did Fabritius paint the bird?
In the first phase, he painted the feeding box, the bird and the upper perch, and then added the background. This image had a painted black border, approximately 2 cm wide. At this stage, the picture might have been displayed unframed. Fabritius then covered this painted border with a wooden frame. He later removed this, leaving some nails and nail-holes in the panel. Only then did he paint over the background with another coating that imitates a white plastered wall, thus covering most of the painted black border (see illustration). At this point he also added the lower semi-circular perch, which strongly reinforces the trompe l’oeil effect. The low view point, which is emphasised by the second perch, conflicts with the seemingly higher viewpoint of the upper perch and the box lid – an optical ambiguity which Fabritius decided to leave unresolved.
What was the name of the painting that Carel Fabritius painted in the year he died?
It is presumed that much of Fabritius’s work was lost in the explosion, and only around a dozen of his paintings survive. Among these The Goldfinch, which was painted in the year he died, is considered by many to be his masterpiece. Image: Carel Fabritius, The Goldfinch , 1654. © Mauritshuis, The Hague. About the Goldfinch.
What is a goldfinch bird?
Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh. The Bird. An adult Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) is readily recognized, with its red, white and black head and yellow wing-bars. The plumage of both sexes is very similar, but the male’s red mask extends slightly back behind the eye.
How did Fabritius die?
An artist of remarkable skill, Fabritius was tragically killed at the age of thirty-two, when a gunpowder store exploded, destroying large parts of the city of Delft and killing hundreds of its residents. It is presumed that much of Fabritius’s work was lost in the explosion.
What is the original function of the Goldfinch?
If the image itself is unique in the art of the period, the original function of The Goldfinch is also shrouded in mystery. It has been speculated that the painting was intended as a shop sign (for which it is far too small and unsuitable), part of a piece of furniture or a cover for a box containing another painting.
What does goldfinches mean in Dutch painting?
In Dutch paintings of the period, goldfinches might be read as a symbol of resourcefulness and dexterity, or even of captive love. Fabritius’s isolated depiction of the bird falls outside such traditions, and its meaning is more elusive.
Where is the Goldfinch exhibition?
The Goldfinch. This exhibition has now ended! One of the most iconic paintings in the world, which has never before been seen in Scotland, will make a flying visit to Edinburgh this Autumn. The Goldfinch will travel to the Scottish National Gallery from its home in the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, in The Hague.