White parrot called Cardinal Farnese's parrot.
Watercolor and gouache.
Captioned in the upper right corner in German in a beautiful calligraphy with pen and brown ink Psittacus Albus Cristatus () Cardinal Alexandri Farnesi Zu Romin Lauterfect nach dem leben. 24 x 40 cm.
Some restorations in the backgrounds; slightly insolate; foxing and spotting.
In his Traité historique et moral du blason, Jean-Baptiste Dupuy-Demportes reports "Of all the species of parrots known, I cannot find any whose beauty approaches that of the parrot that Cardinal Alexander Farnese had: It was almost as big as an ordinary rooster, and like a rooster, it had a long and raised tail; instead of a crest, a tuft of feathers of the length of a foot & a half, which rose on its head while curving towards the beak; its plumage was white, its blue eyes were surmounted by a border in the shape of a black eyebrow: the ornitologist who describes this animal adds that its kindness and small manners perfectly corresponded to the singularity of its figure & the beauty of its plumage" (Tome One, Chapter XLVI. Of the Parrot; pp. 141 & 142- Paris 1754).
Cardinal Odoardo Farnese (1573-1626), the son of the previous one, was to gather exotic parrots in the aviary of his garden of rare plants, Horti Palatini Farnesiorum, in his villa on the Palatine (Cf. Roberto Zapperi, Arrigo le Velu, Pietro le Fou, Amon le Nanin et autres bêtes : autour d'un tableau d'Agostino Carrache ; Annales, Année 1985, 40 - 2, pp. 307-327).
Presumed provenance : (According to Louise Beaumont-Maillet, le Florilège de Nassau- Idstein by Johann Walter. Chapter Un artiste strasbourgeois, pp. 72-79 - Bibliothèque Nationale 1993).
1 - Former collection of Claude Aubriet (1665 - 1742), miniaturist painter and natural history draftsman; his sale in 1742; 2 - Guillaume - Chrétien Lamoignon de Malherbe (1721 - 1794) for a part; the other, acquired by Michel Begon, passed in 1770 in the collection of the king; 3 - Sale in Leipzig around 1922; 4 - Acquired by a Parisian amateur who gives his plates, or a part of them, to the museums of Strasbourg.
Expert : DUBOIS Patrice