Skip to main content

Jan Fyt, Dead Birds in a Landscape

Key facts
Full title Dead Birds in a Landscape
Artist Jan Fyt
Artist dates 1611 - 1661
Date made probably 1640s
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 41.6 × 56.8 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Wynn Ellis Bequest, 1876
Inventory number NG1003
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
Dead Birds in a Landscape
Jan Fyt

Jan Fyt was an extremely successful painter of bird and animal still-life pictures, using a light, frothy style of brushwork peculiar to him. Here, he has piled up the birds' bodies – a brace of partridges alongside a greenfinch, chaffinch, brambling, robin and quail – in a pyramid. The evening sky casts a mellow glow on the gate behind them, but is grey and threatening overhead. It has been suggested that the object behind the tree trunk is a bird trap, but it is more likely to be a birdcage used to carry a decoy bird or a bird of prey.

At this time in the Southern Netherlands, hunting was still a pastime reserved for the aristocracy. But members of the well-off urban elite were eager to acquire Fyt’s game pieces, and to decorate their houses with these tokens of a lifestyle only open to aristocrats.

Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo