Swans appear in several of Savery's works, although groupings of exotic birds form many species, presented as if coexisting peacefully in a bird's paradise, are better known.1 This painting depicts a more realistic view of swans gathered around their nest, squabbling and grooming, with two ducks approaching to drink from the stream, and a crane diving toward the nest. Savery has evoked the noise and movement of the birds jostling with their open mouths and the stray feathers floating into the air and onto the surface of the water.
1. See for example: Landscape with birds, 1628, Kunsthistorisches Museum Gemäldegalerie, Vienna, inv. no. 1082.
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