The Battle of Birds and Beasts, by Jacopo da Castello (1640-1705).

Oil on canvas, 108cm by 134cm.

The artist was Flemish by birth and was born Jacob van de Kerkhoven in Antwerp, but spent most of his working life in Italy.

He and was much patronised by John, 5th Earl of Exeter (1648-1700), whose account book of 1684 records: ‘Pd. Giacomo for 3 pieces of beasts and birds, 25 cestini.’

The 1688 Burghley Inventory lists: ‘6th Roome…..3 Pictures over the Doores of Birds and Beasts done by Jacamo di Castello.’


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