M. Kraemer-Noble, Abraham Mignon, Petersberg 2007, p. 280, no. 115, reproduced in colour p. 281;
Meister werke der Malerei vom 16. bis 18. Jahrhundert, exhibition catalogue, Bremen 2007, pp. 50-51, reproduced in colour p. 51.
Abraham Mignon's hunting still lifes with dead birds are relatively rare amongst his oeuvre, which consists mainly of flower pieces and forest floor still lifes. His early floral paintings show the influence of his training in Frankfurt under Jacob Marrel (1613-1681). Mignon moved to the Netherlands with his master in 1659 and studied in Utrecht under Jan Davidsz. de Heem (1606-1684). The latter's opulent and lavish still lifes had a marked influence on Mignon's floral paintings and, in turn, the naturalist detail of Otto Marseus van Schrieck (1619/20-1678) was a clear influence on his forest floor still lifes. It seems, however, that it was Willem van Aelst (1627-c.1686) from whom Mignon drew inspiration for his small group of paintings of dead game, which are typified by the present work.
The large bird in the centre of the composition with a yellow and black feathered crest is a hoopoe, a rare hunted bird found in northern Europe. Mignon also uses this bird as the centre point of the composition for his Game still life with a hoopoe in a Private Collection.1 Magdalena Kraemer-Noble believes that "these portraits of hoopoes are undoubtedly from Mignon's later years".2
1. See M. Kraemer-Noble, under literature, p. 278, no. 114, reproduced in colour p. 279.
2. See Kraemer-Noble, op. cit, p. 280.
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