The unscientific exotic bird man of Dordrecht. Aert Schouman, 1710 – 1792.

Self portrait, c. 1730. Aert Schouman.

Ridiculously prolific & versatile, the 18th-century Dutch Republic painter from Dordrecht, Aert Schouman (4 March 1710 – 5 July 1792) was a glass engraver, printmaker, art teacher & collector/dealer. He did it all; still lifes, biblical & mythological themes, genre, historical and topographical works, portraits, sketches, etchings & mezzotints. He designed tapestries, painted wall-hangings, decorated objects such as fans, snuffboxes and even the glass windows of a magic lantern. 

From out of all of all those those endless and complex biblical scenes, mythic tangents & dreamy, bucolic landscapes there’s one thing that just pops out and says “hi” to us today. His graphic natural history studies of exotic bird life (especially the heads, the portraits).

Aert was no scientist, but he was knew his exotic birds in detail & was deeply devoted to renering authenitic, true-to-life depictions of them.

Head of a Macaw, Aert Schouman, 1725-1792.
Head of a Cockatoo, Aert Schouman, 1725-1792.
Head of a Cockatoo, Aert Schouman, 1725-1792.
Head of a Cockatoo, Aert Schouman, 1725-1792.

King Vulture (Sarcoramphus papa), Aert Schouman, 1725-1792.
Two exotic birds, Aert Schouman, 1725-1792.
Red billed Toucan, Aert Schouman, 1725-1792. Schouman’s keen powers of observation are showcased here by the way he has this red-billed toucan grasps the branch. He may not be a scientist but he knows the Red billed Toucan two, rather than three toes like other species. The landscape he paints airily in transparent shades of green and blue evokes the bird’s native regions in Guyana and North Brazil.

Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.

More Stories
“The hungry lion throws itself on the antelope, devours him. . . Birds of prey have each torn a strip of flesh from the poor animal that is shedding a tear! The sun sets.” Henri Rousseau.