• Punishment of a Hunter

    Artist:
    Potter, Paulus. 1625-1654
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    84,5x120 cm

Potter, Paulus. 1625-1654

Punishment of a Hunter

Holland, circa 1647

Genre painting, the depiction of everyday scenes, attained an exceptional peak in the middle part of the 17th century. It was assumed that the purchaser would hang the painting on a wall of his home and his household and guests would admire it at close quarters. Pandering to popular tastes by producing entertaining subjects, the artists at the same time pursued various painterly tasks, made discoveries and worked with colour and tone. In the centre here the King of the Beasts is sitting in judgement on a man. The denizens of the forest hang the treacherous hounds from a branch, while the hunter himself is roasted whole on a spit. In the upper right-hand corner is a depiction of St Hubert, who gave up hunting when he saw a stag with a cross between his antlers. On the right the artist placed a depiction of Diana, the goddess of the hunt, relaxing in the bosom of nature: this element was painted by a friend of Paulus Potter at his request. There are some fine illustrations of “hunter’s tales”, for example, a leopard hunt using a cage with a mirror that prompts the animal to climb in itself on seeing its reflection and monkeys being caught by their tendency to imitate people – they pull on boots containing glue and are unable to run away. The idea of retribution for sins and excessive amusements was typical for Protestant societies, although the artist was not lacking a sense of humour either. Instead of tedious moralizing, Potter admires the shapes of the animals, humanizing their poses and behaviour.

Title:

Punishment of a Hunter

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

84,5x120 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1814; formerly in the collection of Josephine de Beauharnais in the Castle of Malmaison near Paris

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-823

Category:

Collection:

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