press release

Melchior d'Hondecoeter lived and worked in Utrecht and Amsterdam from 1636 till 1695. His oeuvre consists almost entirely out of portrayals of birds, to whom he attributes certain psychological and metaphorical qualities. A Pelican and Other Birds Near a Pool (1680), otherwise known as The Floating Feather was produced for the hunting lodge of King William III, and is part of the collection of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. In this painting, d'Hondecoeter depicts a heterogeneous group of birds grouped around a pond in a dynamic composition. Some are precious and exotic to the northern climes, like the flamingo and the pelican, whereas others are more common, such as the shelduck on the right. The Floating Feather reinforces as well as comments on the prevailing tastes and power-structures of its time. The painting and what it represents – rather then its title – could be seen as an emblem for the exhibition.


only in german

The Floating Feather
Fong-Leng, Isa Genzken, Keren Cytter
kuratiert von Willem de Rooij