"A Triumphant Cockerel Crowing Over His Victory; A Chicken and a Pea-Hen in a Landscape"
Giovanni Bonomi (Italy 1703-1780)
After Melchior de Hondecoetter (Flemish, 1636-1695)
Oil on canvas
29-1/2 x 25-1/2 inches (38-1/2 x 34-1/2 w/frame)
Signed l.l. "Bonomi, G"
Inscription l.r "da hondehoetter
Though very little is known about Giovanni Bonomi aside from his paintings have been copied by other later painters, there is much more information about Melchior de Hondecoeter.
Melchior de Hondecoeter was born in Utrecht, Netherlands into a family of artists and studied with his father, Gysbert de Hondecoeter, and his uncle, Jan Baptist Weenix from whom he derived the Italianate and decorative aspects of his style. His grandfather was the landscape painter Gillis de Hondecoeter. From 1659 to 1663 he lived in The Hague, and then moved to Amsterdam, becoming a citizen in 1668, where he spent the rest of his life.
De Hondecoeter's specialty was the depiction of poultry, waterfowl, and exotic birds; he was known in the nineteenth century as the 'Raphael of bird painters.' He dramatically emphasized the color and texture of their plumage, and carefully observed the postures and movements unique to specific species. His compositions were often set in farmyards, courtyards and elegant parks, or were more isolated game and hunting scenes. Frequently, his compositions have a wall, fence, tree or classical ruin that occupies the middle ground. He also depicted scenes in which the birds are attacked or frightened by other animals allowing for a depiction of movement. de Hondecoeter output was prolific and, as a result, he has an expansive œuvre. He was highly esteemed by his contemporaries and often imitated.
Gaming and hunting still lifes were a favorite motif in Netherlandish painting. Many of the large format game still lifes reflect the interests and spheres of nobility at the time, but, nonetheless, were appreciated by everyone. The variety of forms, objects, and textures provided the artist an opportunity to show off his skills as a draughtsman as well as his painterly talent.
His works are widely sought after and in the collections of dozens of international museums and trusts.