GHEYN, Jacob de II
(b. 1565, Antwerp, d. 1629, The Hague)

Four Studies of Frogs

Pen and brush, 142 x 196 mm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

This is one of De Gheyn's most characteristic animal drawings. The frogs are observed with great accuracy, although only the one in the top right-hand corner is in a natural pose. It is not known whether the artist used stuffed frogs or live ones pinned in place. At the beginning of the seventeenth century there was considerable interest in faithful depictions of nature, as well as in nature itself. De Gheyn, and his tutor Hendrick Goltzius, are among the great Dutch painters of animals.