Birds on a Balustrade, Melchior d'Hondecoeter, c. 1680 - c. 1690
D’Hondecoeter was the preeminent specialist in the genre of bird painting, and his work was in great demand. He painted birds from all corners of the world with a refined feeling for detail, colour, and liveliness. Here he portrayed a chicken, a hoopoe, and a parrot. D’Hondecoeter made studies in oil, which he could repeatedly use in his workshop as an aidememoire while painting. The birds occur in identical poses in other pictures.