Amsterdam Schiphol Airport: for the birds

A new exhibit featuring seven paintings by Melchior d’Hondecoeter (1636-1695), the most renowned Dutch painter of 17th century ‘bird pieces’, will be on view through October 2009 in the Rijksmuseum at Amsterdam Schiphol airport.

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Hondecoeter paintings featured geese (Brent, Egyptian and Red-Breasted), partridges, doves, sparrows, Golden Orioles, peacocks, but also African Black-Crowned Cranes, Australian Yellow-Crested Cockatoos, Asian Sarus Cranes and even an Indonesian Purple-Naped Lory and two Grey-Headed Lovebirds from Madagascar. Most birds painted by his predecessors were depicted in static poses against the scenery, but in Hondecoeter’s paintings their positions look very natural.

The Rijksmuseum Amsterdam Schiphol is on Holland Boulevard, past passport control, between the E and F Pier. The museum is open every day from 7:00 until 8 pm and admission is free.