A Cat guarding Songbirds, by David de Coninck (c1636-c1699).

Oil on canvas, in a carved and gilded frame, 36cm by 46.5cm.
A pendant to PIC471.

The painting was purchased by John, 5th Earl of Exeter (1648-1700), whilst on one of his first Grand Tours.

It appears in the 1688 Burghley Inventory: ‘My Lord’s Clossett…a Catt & birds litle (sic) picture no frame ___ by –‘

The pendant PIC471, once thought to also have been acquired by John, 5th Earl, is now considered to have been purchased more than eighty years later by his great grandson, Brownlow, 9th Earl of Exeter (1725-1793), as a pendant to this painting.

De Coninck, a Fleming, was an accomplished painter of birds and animals, usually in a landscape setting and often depicting scenes of great activity, with some of his subjects under attack.

The suggestion here is that the attack has already taken place.


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