Trompe-l'oeil with exotic birds
Abraham Bisschop (1670-1731)

Trompe-l’oeil with exotic birds, 1700

Oil on canvas, H. 1.66 m; W. 2.94 m

Signed and dated in the bottom: A. Bisschop f. 1700.

Provenance: Private collection, Belgium.

Abraham Bisschop was a Dutch painter of birds in Italian landscapes, of portraits, and of room decorations for large houses in Holland. He was the youngest son of Cornelius Bisschop (1630-1674), a court painter to the King of Denmark. The majority of his oil paintings are large canvases of both familiar and exotic birds, usually in landscapes with classical ruins and urns. In 1715, Bisschop was elected a member of the painters’ guild of Middelburg, the capital of the province of Zeeland, where he may have lived during the last years of his life.

Bisschop painted in the old Dutch bird masters’ style while he was active at the end of the seventeenth and beginning of the eighteenth centuries. He shared an ability to paint feathers of great softness, careful pattern and good colouring, with such great masters as Vonck and the d’Hondecoeters. His paintings are not so thickly populated, however, and the choice of species is smaller.