Still Life with Fowl, Willem van Aelst, 1658
Two dead roosters, a water rail, and a kingfisher hang from cords upside down above a marble slab. Are the flies on them painted, or real? Willem van Aelst not only imitated what he saw, but also transformed it into an elegant composition. The subtle grey, violet, and blue hues make this a special painting, which was already a sought-after collector's item in its own time.