The goldfinch period ca. 1654, Oil on Panel, 33.5 x 22.8 cm
Carel Fabritius (bapt. 1622 - 1654)
Fabritius died young, in the explosion of the Delft powder magazine – a disaster which destroyed a large part of the city, and left a known body of work of only fifteen. He painted this small panel of goldfinch, a kind of birds had long been popular as house pet and been taught to perform tricks, as a trompe-l’œil (deception of the eye), to be hung above the viewers, and aided by the metal perch, to trick the viewer to believe that they were seeing a real bird perching above, playing his own trick on us.
This bird was full of necessary details and remarkable vitality, though broadly painted and without fastidiousness which could have rendered such subject a zoology illustration. A perhaps slight work but a whimsical and delightful one.