Thursday, 14 August 2008

Jan Asselijn's swan

The Threatened Swan. Oil painting by Jan Asselijn. 144 x 171 cm. From the collection of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. A larger than life swan lifts itself with threatening, out-stretched wings. Hissing fiercely it defends its nest against the approaching danger: the dog swimming in from the right. The dog seems to have designs on the eggs in the nest. The movement of the swan is extreme; its feathers fly up around it. The painter Jan Asselijn has convincingly depicted this spectacle, it looks just like a swan rising up in sudden anger. Through using a low viewpoint he has made the swan tower above its surroundings. This makes the scene even more impressive.

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