After Pieter Casteels III (Flemish, 1684-1749)
"A Fine Bird is More than Fine Feathers"
Unsigned, attributed to Marmaduke Cradock on a label from David Brooker Fine Art, Southport, Connecticut, affixed to the stretcher.
Oil on canvas, 38 x 47 7/8 in. (96.5 x 121.5 cm), unframed.
Condition: Lined, retouch, craquelure, varnish discoloration.
N.B. The painting at hand was reviewed via high resolution photographs by experts from the RKD. Their opinion is that the work is a copy after a signed and dated (1719) painting by Pieter Casteels III that is said to depict a tale from Aesop's Fables, "Jackdaw and Peacock Feathers." The fable relates the story of a crow that adorns himself with peacock feathers to make himself more beautiful, but his charade is discovered by other birds who strip him of his borrowed feathers and some of his own, leaving readers with the moral, "A fine bird is more than fine feathers."
The attribution to Marmaduke Cradock referenced in the label on the stretcher is not confirmed by current scholarship, but the artists were contemporaries and worked together on at least one documented painting.
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