Seven Chicks, Melchior d'Hondecoeter, c. 1665 - c. 1668
This oil sketch of chicks affords unique insight into the working method of Melchior d'Hondecoeter, the best-known bird painter of the 17th century. He used such studies as the basis for his monumental park landscapes, which feature diverse species of birds. Depicted in this sketch are seven chicks in various poses. They were frequently reused in a ‘copy & paste’ fashion in his paintings.