Object Image

A Poulterer's Shop

This is one of the best examples of Gerrit Dou's brilliance at depicting different surfaces and textures, like the fraying cloth crumpled underneath a bucket, the smooth stone of the sill, the feathers in the duck's wing and the pocked skin of its breast and neck.

Dou was one of the most successful artists in Leiden, and his accounts of everyday scenes like this - a young woman buying poultry and game - were particularly sought-after. As here, many were set in an architectural frame, an unusual device because even though the details and the figures are extremely realistic, a Leiden poultry seller would definitely not have displayed her produce in such a grand setting. It was obviously a device which proved popular with Dou's own customers however, and it also allowed him to give his scenes a greater illusion of depth.

Credit: Bought, 1871

c. 1670
Oil on oak
58.0 x 46.0cm
NG825
Image and text © The National Gallery, London, 2024

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