Jakob Bogdáni (Eperjes c. 1660-1724 London)
Jakob Bogdáni (Eperjes c. 1660-1724 London)

A cockatoo, parrots and a King Charles spaniel, with fruit and fallen masonry, in a classical landscape

Jakob Bogdáni (Eperjes c. 1660-1724 London)
A cockatoo, parrots and a King Charles spaniel, with fruit and fallen masonry, in a classical landscape
indistinctly signed 'J. Bogdani' (lower centre)
oil on canvas
38 ¾ x 53 7/8 in. (98.5 x 136.8 cm.)
in a Louis XIV-style giltwood and composition frame
Possibly acquired by a member of the More family in the 18th century and by descent at Linley Hall, Shropshire, to Sir Jasper More (as recorded to paper label), and by descent. This is thought to be one of the 'heirlooms' which remained in situ at Linley whilst the house was let from the 1880s, until Sir Jasper retook possession of the house in 1948.

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Katharine Cooke
Katharine Cooke

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Lot Essay

Little is known about Jacob Bogdáni's early life, or where he received his training in painting. He was born in Eperjes in Hungary in 1658, and arrived in Amsterdam in the spring of 1684, where he shared a residence with Ernst Stuven. His earliest works are austere groupings of fruit in the Dutch tradition. By 1 June 1688, he was in London, settling at Tower Street, St. Giles in the Fields, and was soon much sought after by the English court and aristocracy as a still life and bird painter.

One of his earliest known commissions was for a set of flowerpieces for Queen Mary's Looking-glass Closet in the Thames Gallery at Hampton Court (1694), and he also supplied paintings for King William III's palace at Dieren, Holland. Queen Anne became a patron and it may have been through this connection that he met the Duke of Marlborough's younger brother, Admiral George Churchill, who had just been given the Lodge in the Little Park at Windsor. The Admiral created not only a beautiful garden in the grounds, but a famous aviary full of the most unusual birds, and it was here that Bogdáni was able to study these exotic creatures.

The exotic birds in this painting, a Moluccan cockatoo (Cacatua moluccensis), a Blue-fronted Amazon (Amazona aestiva) and a Ring-necked Parakeet (Psittacula krameri), may have been inspired by those that Bogdáni saw in the Admiral Churchill's aviary at Windsor. The Amazon reappears in the largest known painting by Bogdáni (Scotland, private collection) while the cockatoo and the parakeet can also be found in a picture by the artist of circa 1708/10 (Royal Collection).


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