In a wooded landscape near a rustic cottage, a couple prepares game for market, filling a large basket with plucked ducks while baskets of other fowl sit nearby awaiting their turn. The various species have been carefully observed by the artist, and the assorted patterns and colors of feathers are accurately and skillfully described. Further in the distance, the hunt is symbolized by a man aiming a rifle, his dog crouched at his feet, while several ducks circle in the air above him. With the costumes and architecture suggesting a Northern setting, we can date this landscape to the earlier part of the artist's career.
Paolo Fiammingo was a Flemish painter and draftsman who registered with the Guild of St. Luke in Antwerp in 1561 but was known to have traveled to Venice by 1573. He served for a time as an assistant in Tintoretto's workshop, where he specialized in painting landscape backgrounds, before eventually leaving to open his own studio. His landscapes anticipate the later works of Flemish artists who painted in the Italianate style, including Paul Bril and Jan Brueghel the Elder.
The attribution to Paolo Fiammingo was first suggested by Bert W. Meijer at the RKD in a letter dated 22 June 1993.