AELST, Willem van
(b. 1627, Delft, d. ca. 1683, Amsterdam)

Still-Life of Dead Birds and Hunting Weapons

Oil on canvas, 86,5 x 68 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

The ostentatious display of killed animals after hunt had a representational and symbolic function. The motif of a dead animal hanging upside down - an actual hunting custom - had been taken over by 17th century Dutch painters from earlier artists such as Jacopo de' Barbari and Lucas Cranach the Elder.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 9 minutes):
Joseph Haydn: The Seasons, Part 3 Autumn, aria and chorus (Hunters' chorus)