Jan Weenix (Dutch, born about 1641?, died 1719)
Oil on canvas
52 3/4 x 43 3/4 in. (134 x 111.1 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1950 (50.55)
In Holland toward the end of the seventeenth century, the taste for more elaborate room decoration created a demand for large landscape and still-life paintings. French classical inspiration is reflected in the landscape background of this game piece by Jan Weenix, the son of Jan Baptist Weenix.
The image of the garden is a central theme in Dutch seventeenth-century painting and was directly linked to the interest in gardens in circles of the wealthy bourgeoisie. Jan Weenix (16421719) and his compatriot Melchior d'Hondecoeter (16361695) shared this passion for gardens and flowers, incorporating precisely rendered botanical details in their work. The Falconer's Bag, which combines game and a classical vase still life in the foreground, with an idealized garden in the background, is typical of Weenix's decorative compositions. Most of his garden scenes depict imagined French Baroque layouts filled with classical architectural structures. His large-scale canvases were much in demand as the taste for elaborate interior decoration grew at the turn of the century.