SAVERY, Roelandt
(b. 1576, Courtrai, d. 1639, Utrecht)

Landscape with Animals

Oil on wood, 28,4 x 46,9 cm
Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Ghent

By the early 17th century, painting had begun to split into a variety of specialist fields. Roelandt Savery, who came from Kortrijk (Courtrai) but worked mostly abroad, was an interesting figure in this respect. Rudolph II of Prague commissioned him to paint landscapes after sketches and drawings made during a journey through Bohemia and the Tyrol. He was fond of picturesque locations and romantic forests and cliffs, like those in the Crab Fishermen. He took advantage of his time at court to study exotic animals in the zoological gardens. The influence of this period continued to make itself felt in his later work, too. Landscape with Animals, with its characteristic, paradisiacal atmosphere is a fine example.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 5 minutes):
Clément Jannequin: The Birds (Le chant des oiseaux)