The Goldfinch (1654) of Fabritius.
Carel Fabritius (1622-1654) died at the age of 32 and was one of Rembrandt’s most gifted pupils. Fabritius painted ‘The Goldfinch’ in 1654. It is a much loved, small painting that I’ve seen often. When I was young it made my heart jump because what is more fascinating than having a pet bird like that? It sits in your kitchen or living-room and sings for you.
Later I viewed Fabritius’s goldfinch with more worry. It seems awfully restricted with a chain to its leg. Nevertheless the beauty of this small painting, to me, lies in its old-yellowish colour, its calm composition and the bird overlooking, probably a family eating in their kitchen and the painter himself.
Here are my goldfinches. They are cleverly avoiding its sharp prickles on the margins of a thistle.
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