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Still Life with Gray Parrot (work of art)

Artwork Info

Created
circa 1630s
Artist
Frans Snyders
Nationality
Flemish
Birth/Death
1579-1657
Dimensions
36 5/8 x 53 1/16 inches (93 x 134.8 centimeters)

Credit

Purchased with funds from the State of North Carolina

Object Number
52.9.201
Culture
European Flemish
Classification
Paintings
Department
European to 1910

Key Ideas about this Work of Art

  • Still life paintings are paintings of natural (usually nonliving) or human-made objects.
  • These types of paintings were often created as a way to showcase an artist’s talent and highlight the beauty of everyday life.
  • This African gray parrot in this painting was a product of the European colonization of Africa. 
  • Frans Snyders is best known for painting animals. His still life paintings often included images of live animals and dead game (animals that are hunted).

Learn More

This painting features a variety of grapes, dead birds, a Chinese bowl, a gold Italian serving dish, a woven basket, and an African gray parrot. The realistic textures and colors of these objects showcase the artist’s skill in capturing the details of the world around him.

Flemish artist Frans Snyders specialized in painting animals. His still lifes of market scenes and food pantries often included live animals and dead game. His work is an example of the Dutch still life art style. Still life artists like Snyders painted ordinary objects and made them seem more important. The carefully painted objects also reminded viewers of the beauty in their everyday lives. 

The African gray parrot in this painting was a product of the European colonization of Africa. When Snyders created this still life in the 1600s, the African parrot and the Chinese bowl would have appealed to European colonizers who wanted to own “exotic goods.” 

Additional Resources

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Images

  • An oil painting of an African gray parrot standing on a basket of grapes, eating. Below are other lavishly displayed fruits and recently hunted fowl on a deep red tablecloth.

    Still Life with Gray Parrot