A Young Woman at a Window with a Parrot and a Birdcage

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Pieter Cornelisz. van Slingeland (Dutch, 1640–1691)
A Young Woman at a Window with a Parrot and a Birdcage, ca. 1670
Oil on panel
9 × 7 in. (22.86 × 17.78 cm)
Purchase, with funds from the Myron and Elizabeth P. Laskin Fund M2014.56
Photo credit: John R. Glembin
Currently on View

The young woman here holds an empty birdcage and a parrot, a genre subject full of double meaning. Popular literature of the time often equated women’s virtue (or morally good character) with a caged bird. As long as the bird remained in the cage, the virtue of a woman remained safe. Van Slingeland presents us with a somewhat more ambiguous subject—will the bird escape from her care? Or is her virtue safe? The subject was typical of the school of painters known as the Leidse Fijnschilders (Leiden Fine Painters), of which this artist, Pieter Cornelisz. van Slingeland, was a premier member.

Publication History
Sawinski, Catherine. Questions of Provenance—Doubting Thomas by Adriaen van der Werff, Part 1. Milwaukee Art Museum: Under the Wings, December 1, 2015. http://blog.mam.org/2015/12/01/questions-of-provenance-doubting-thomas-by-adriaen-van-der-werff-part-1/.

Bruun Rasmussen, February 25, 2014 [auction catalogue]. Bredgade, Denmark: Bruun Rasmussen, 2014, lot 126, http://www.bruun-rasmussen.dk/search.do?iid=300554036&lang=en&mode=detail (accessed March 2, 2015). (as 19th century copy after Slingeland)

V. Winkel & Magnussen. 4th Part of the Collection Formerly Belonging to the late Emil Glückstadt, June 2, 1924 [auction catalogue]. Copenhagen: V. Winkel & Magnussen, 1924, lot 690.

De Groot, Cornelis Hofstede, Catalogue Raisonné of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the 17th Century. Vol. V. London: Macmillan and Co., 1913, p. 452, no. 112, Internet Archive, http://www.archive.org/details/catalogueraisonn05hofsuoft (accessed March 9, 2015).

Heris, June 19, 1846 [auction catalogue]. Brussels: Heris, 1846, lot 68.

This information is subject to change as the result of ongoing research.