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Francis Barlow, 1622–1704
Jay, Green Woodpecker, Pigeons, and Redstart
Former Title(s):
Landscape with a Green Woodpecker, a Jay, Two Pigeons, a Redstart, a Lizard and Two Frogs, signed, c.1650
ca. 1658
Materials & Techniques:
Oil on canvas
30 x 25 1/8 inches (76.2 x 63.8 cm)

Inscribed, center left: "Barlow | 165[8?]"

Signed and dated, center left: "Barlow | 165[8?]"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
animal art | birds | Eurasian Jay | frogs (animals) | landscape | lizard | mountains | pigeons | Redstarts (birds) | tree | woodpecker
Not on view
IIIF Manifest:

In 1656, the courtier John Evelyn referred to Francis Barlow as “the famous Paynter of fowle Beastes & Birds.” This is one of the artist’s earliest paintings, made at a time when wildlife paintings excluding the human figure were a novel concept. Here, a green woodpecker is viewed in profile, a Eurasian jay is captured in flight, a redstart perches on a branch, and two wood pigeons forage for food on the ground, where closer inspection reveals a lizard and a pair of frogs. This picture is signed playfully, as if the artist’s name and date had been carved into the trunk of the tree.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

Andrea Bubenik, Perspectives on Wenceslaus Hollar, Harvery Miller Publishers, London, 2016, p. 211, fig. 11, NJ18.H73 A12 2016 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Malcolm Cormack, Concise Catalogue of Paintings in the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1985, pp. 18-19, N590.2 A83 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Judy Egerton, British Sporting and Animal Paintings 1655-1867 : A Catalogue : The Paul Mellon Collection, , Tate Publishing, London, 1978, ND1383 G7 B75 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Nathan Flis, Drawing of Francis Barlow: From Apprenticeship to Aesop's Fables, 1648-1666., Master Drawings, 49, Winter 2011, p. 481, NC1 M37 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Nathan Flis, Francis Barlow : Painter of Birds & Beasts : Clandon Park, 10 May-24 July 2011, CLOC Ltd., London, p. 12, V 2360 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Nathan Flis, New light on Francis Barlow (1622-1704) : Britain's first sporting artist, Essays of Friends of British Sporting Art, no. 80, The British Sporting Art Trust, Autumn 2022, p. 2, fig. 3, N8250 .B751 80 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Nathan Flis, New Light on Francis Barlow (1622-1704) Britain's First Sporting Artist, Newsletter ( British Sporting Art Trust ), The British Sporting Art Trust, London, Autumn 2022, fig. 3, N8250 B75 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Christine E. Jackson, Great Bird Paintings of the World, vol. 1: The Old Masters, Antique Collectors' Club, Woodbridge, Suffolk, England, p. 90, N7665 J23 1993 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Sotheby's Reaches New Record for Silver, The Times (London), 3 June 1977, p.21, Available Onliune : Times Digital Archive Also available on microfilm : Film An T482 (SML) [ORBIS]

Ellis Waterhouse, The Dictionary of 16th & 17th Century British Painters, Antique Collectors' Club, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 1988, frontispiece, ND464 W38 1988 (LC) (YCBA) [YCBA]

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