In art history, “old master” refers to any painter of skill who worked in Europe before about 1800, or a painting by such an artist. By this definition, this painting can be considered an old master as it was created over 200 years ago by a very talented artist.
This is a finely painted piece with traditional 18th century Dutch elements. I have observed that in many 18th century Dutch still life paintings, dogs or other animals were included as main components of these compositions. This handsome fellow was meant as a balance for the fruit and game. From his look, we can surmise that he had something to do with all that game.
Although this is a still life, the fruit on the ledge, along with the game, are shown within a larger landscape. Behind the spaniel is mountainous landscape with a beautiful sky. The dog’s face is expertly painted with much attention to detail. Likewise, the fruit realistically painted with marvelous shading. The light shining upon the white and gray feathers of the birds gives them a silvery, statuesque feeling that contrasts well with the colorful fruit.
This is a large and impressive 18th century painting. It is a strongly felt piece, masterfully executed and with a great presence.
I have had the painting professionally restored and placed in a traditional frame with wide, dark wood with beaded and carved molding. This molding echoes the early origins of the painting. As is the case for many 18th century paintings, this piece could benefit from having a light on it to bring out the colors and depth.
It measures 40-1/4 inches wide and 31-3/4 inches high, including the frame.
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