Melchior de Hondecoeter was a Dutch artist who specialized in the painting of birds and The Poultry Yard is an example of this. The ‘Raphael of birds’ painted many exotic birds from all over the world.
The Poultry Yard is a more basic bird painting, featuring farmyard birds such as chickens and ducks in a farmyard setting. The story tells that de Hondecoeter had a trained chicken that he was able to pose and it would hold still for him.
The very large painting is 1.5 meters tall and 1.7 meters wide and is not dated as the majority of de Hondecoeter’s paintings are, however it was likely painted sometime between 1680 and 1690.
Melchior de Hondecoeter’s The Poultry Yard can be found in the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia.