A hunter and his dog are sitting at the foot of a tree. The man is nonchalantly holding a dead partridge and a hunting rifle. Though it may appear an innocent scene, for Dutch seventeenth-century viewers it had erotic connotations. The words ‘jagen’ (to hunt) and ‘vogelen’ (to catch birds) also referred to courting and making love.
The hunter – in imaginary clothing – is a self-portrait of the Leiden ‘fijnschilder’, or fine painter, Arie de Vois. His paintings are distinguished from the work of the other Leiden fijnschilders by their velvety appearance.
Samuel van Huls, The Hague, 1737; Gerard Block, The Hague, 1754; Willem Lormier, The Hague, 1754-1763; Gerret Braamcamp, Amsterdam, 1763-1771; Prince William V, The Hague, 1771-1795; confiscated by the French, transferred to the Muséum Central des Arts/Musée Napoléon (Musée du Louvre), Paris, 1795-1815; Royal Picture Gallery, housed in the Prince William V Gallery, The Hague, 1816; transferred to the Mauritshuis, 1822