Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis

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.

Thistle with Godlfinches and a Painted Lday

Paula Kuitenbrouwer

Paula Kuitenbrouwer sells exquisite original art work (drawings and paintings), fine art cards, as well as A4 reproductions. See Atelier Shop in the header. If you would  like to commission Paula, contact her at

7 thoughts on “Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis

  1. Nice touch giving the Goldfinch an antique luster. I have always loved that Fabritius image…its hauntingly beautiful…much like your work, too!


  2. I don’t remember seeing this painting before, but it feels so familiar maybe I have? Or maybe there’s just something so right about it that it’s already in my list of favorite paintings? Gorgeous. I love the tint over your painting too. I’m almost inspired to start painting goldfinches.


  3. Carel Fabritius’ goldfinch is a very restful, calm composition, but it does seem sad when you notice the leg chain. The colourings you’ve chosen for your image suggest the delicate lighting of the early morning, and give atmosphere to a really nice piece of work.


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