Aelst, Willem van, Mauritshuis, 1671, 58,8 cm x 47,8 cm

Date Created: 28 June 2016

Author: Aelst, Willem van (1627-1683)

Source: Falconry in Art Facebook

Owner: Mauritshuis

Location: Haag, the Netherlands

  • Netherlands
  • Falcon
  • Painting
  • 17th Century
  • Hoods
Back to search results...

Comments from Charlie Boterletter:

A very beautiful Still life painting from this Dutch Master. Perhaps more interesting is the story behind the image of this painting which Willem van Aelst had in mind when working on it. Singling out one example I like to draw your attention to location of the falcon hood hanging as the highest displayed object more or less in the middle of the painting. During the Seventeenth Century in many hunting still life paintings made by Dutch & Flemish Masters, in which Falcons (Gyrs), Hawks and/or falconry equipment are displayed, one will notice that mostly the Falcon is positioned at the highest point of all objects. This effectively shows the superiority of its owner, which at those days was mostly a King or an Emperor or at least a very highly placed person. Effectively the Gyrfalcon replaced the King who often was commissioner of this painting and with which his superiority was portrayed. At a later stage the painter simply substituted the bird of prey by simply painting the hood of the falcon instead and placed it aloof of all other objects. easy of course and much quicker done! Thanks to Professor Dr. Herman Roodenburg (Meertens Institute, Amsterdam) & Dr. Yannis Hadjinicolaou (Humboldt University, Berlin) who are presently working on a scientific research on the political iconography of falconry in the European, Arabic and Persian visual arts. The I.A.F. is the patron.

About Us

The FHT aims to establish a portal for the world's falconers and other interested parties to access aspects of the sport's rich heritage by linking existing physical archives, including international private and public collections, through the medium of an electronic archive. This archive will feature falconry furniture, works of art, books, correspondence from leading falconers and film and photographic material for the education and interest of falconer and scholar alike. We hope that, whatever your background or interest in our sport, you may find something of value through our archive to deepen your knowledge, understanding and passion for falconry and will help us, through your support, to preserve this precious cultural heritage for future generations.

Write To Us

Falconry Heritage Trust
P.O.Box 19
SA33 5YL

Speak To Us

Phone: within the UK (01267) 233864
and from abroad +44 1267 233864
Fax: within the UK (01267) 233864

Contact Us