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"The Victor (A Triumphant Cockerel Crowing Over His Victory...)" 
Giovanni Bonomi (Italy 1703-1780)
After Melchior de Hondecoeter (Flemish, 1636-1695)
Oil on canvas
Signed "Bonomi Giovanni"
30 ½ x 26 ½ (36 ¾ x 32 ¾ frame) inches


This masterfully executed portrait of a strutting and triumphant rooster was painted by Giovanni Bonomi. Though the old labels have a different dating, careful study indicates that Giovanni Bonomi lived and painted in the 18th century and not the 19th century. 


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. His works are widely sought after and in the collections of dozens of international museums and trusts. 


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.  


In Christian tradition, the rooster is the symbol of Christ, like the eagle and the lamb, particularly emphasizing the solar symbolism, light and resurrection. ... In Jewish Talmud the rooster is considered the master of delicacy because it announces the sun with its chant. 

He is a symbol of sexuality, resurrection, and observance. The cockerel is a bird with very diverse physical characteristics. As such, they have a wide range of symbolism in your life. The rooster crows in your life to add to your bravery, pride, prudence, strength, and honesty. 


The rooster represents the day or the light, but the power of Word, the Music of the Spheres! The Word is the power Hermes used to communicate with mortals. Hermes, it is said, is the god of eloquence. ... THE LYRE another symbol of music, representing harmony.


He is a ubiquitous symbol of good luck in every corner of the globe. ... Most of the luck attached to showy animals like the rooster has to do with prosperity and protection.


"The Victor (A Triumphant Cockerel Crowing Over His Victory...)" Giovanni Bonomi

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