The Birds’ Yard
Information about author
The Still Life "The Birds' Yard" from the Pidhirtsi Castle collection was mentioned in the inventories from 1768 to 1939. In the 1939 inventory J. Mekicki attributes the work to Melchior d'Hondecoeter. The canvas depicts a courtyard with exotic birds. A peacock in a proud posture against a tree backdrop; a chubby hen protecting her brood from a magpie that has flown in to eat crumbs. The artist depicts the birds in dynamic poses. To the right, the canvas shows a fragment of a magnificent palace hidden behind lush greenery; pillars, sculptures and a court where the birds roam peacefully. Serenity and poise are brought into the canvas by a blue stain of the sky with white-purple clouds in the upper right part. The composition is notable for its perfection. The overall decaying green is refreshed by flecks of white, red and blue. This work is a copy of two paintings by the Dutch master M. d'Hondecoeter (1636–1695), whose works can be seen in large numbers in the Hermitage (St. Petersburg, Russia).