Birds in a Landscape with a Decoy

Wenzel Lorenz Reiner

Wenzel Lorenz Reiner - Birds in a Landscape with a Decoy
Reiner’s Orpheus comes close to his painting entitled Birds in a Landscape with a Decoy, also from the Nostitz collection, which works with a theme of fowler, luring daytime birds with an owl. This theme is based on the symbolical preception of the owl, which is sometimes an embodiment of sin, other times it is understood as an innocent victim of blind rage. The bird is misused by a fowler, who is thus compared to the devil, ensnaring souls in the traps of sin. Like in the previous case, the painter probably directly followed earlier models working with the same subject (Savery, Bys), which he could have seen in the Prague aristocratic collections. Unlike those still assemblies of birds in a landscape, Reiner veritably motivated the gathering of the feathered creatures by their animosities, thus endowing the composition with dramatic thrill. Reflecting the Nostitz interest in exclusive themes, the two paintings seem to be pendants in view of their meanings, and they share the symbolical, so far not quite well deciphered content - negative in the case of landscape with a decoy, positive in Orpheus’s case.
measurements: height 199 cm
width 167 cm
material: canvas
technique: oil
inventory number: DO 4281
gallery collection: Collection of Old Masters