Owls with clothes

Owls with clothes

These two skating owls in clothes immediately put a smile on my face the first time I saw them! I was so surprised, walking through Copenhagen art museum/Museum for Kunst, looking at old serious paintings from around 1400-1700. And then suddenly this cute and funny little oil painting. I am pretty sure the deeper meaning of this piece is lost to me, but the dutch painter Adriaen Pietersz van de Venne had humour, no question about it! The painting is undated, but he lived during the years 1589–1662. The text at the top says: ”Hoe passen wy by een”, in english ”How well we go together”.

owls

It would be so nice to see more oil paintings like this, I love dressed up animals (no, not in real life), but I can´t find it, at least on the internet… There is an engraving of the same motive at Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The engraving is reversed (except for the text) and has a wider background landscape on the sides, and his glasses are changed into a mouse. According to the museum this is a man and his wife. The painter also did other morality images like this.
(My mobile photo has a bad quality. Sorry. Visit the museum!)

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