CAYLEY, Neville; Australian wild birds
Still life painting is a tradition which dates back to ancient Greece and Rome but came into prominence in the Netherlands in the seventeenth century.
Neville Cayley painted Australian wild birds at 'Bonavista' near Bowral, New South Wales in 1889, taking seven days to complete this exceptionally large watercolour. The birds across the top are male and female pairs of mountain ducks (shell ducks) and maned geese (wood ducks). Across the lower ledge are banded plover, painted snipe, masked lapwing, Australian snipe, Eastern rosella, grey teal, black duck, a male regent bower bird, and stubble quail. The means by which this 'harvest' was achieved is shown by the cartridges from a twelve gauge shotgun.
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