The Goldfinch in art and symbolism

The Goldfinch in art and symbolism

Hello friends! Today I present you my second painting from the `Birds` collection, `The European goldfinch`. As the previous bird painting, `the blue tit`, this one has a story behind it as well.etsy3The goldfinch is a common European bird, known by its scientific name, Carduelis carduelis. We can find it in Europe, North Africa, and recently was successfully introduced in Australia and New Zealand. The bird is recognized by the colors of its plumage which is golden-brown on the body and red on its head. Goldfinches are commonly kept and bred in captivity as pets, because of their distinctive appearance and pleasant song. Unfortunately, the popularity of goldfinches as a cage bird in Victorian Britain led to huge numbers being trapped to supply demand, causing the population to crash.

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This bird might be common but its symbol is a strong one. It’s not much known that the goldfinch appear in the Christian symbolism. Because of its favorite food, thistle seeds, it is associated with Christ’s Passion and his crown of thorns. The goldfinch appears in many paintings of the Madonna and child, including the Madonna del cardellino or Madonna of the Goldfinch, painted by the Italian renaissance artist, Raphael (1505-1506). The painting represents John the Baptist offering a goldfinch to Christ as a symbol and warning of his future. An other painting with the same name, was painted by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1767-1770). It is also an emblem of endurance, fruitfulness, and persistence. Because it symbolizes the Passion of Christ, the goldfinch is considered a “savior”.

 

(Madonna of the Goldfinch – Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1767-1770) (right), Raphael (1505-1506) (left))

This little bird inspired many artists, not only painters. Antonio Vivaldi, composed a Concerto in D major for Flute “Il Gardellino” (RV 428, Op. 10 No. 3), where the singing of the goldfinch is imitated by a flute. Also, `​The Goldfinch` is title of a novel written by Donna Tartt, who won the Pulitzer prize for fiction, in 2014. A turning point in the plot occurs when the narrator, Theo, sees his mother’s favorite painting, `The Goldfinch` by Carel Fabritius (1654) in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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My own version of the goldfinch is a 13×18 cm oil painting on stretched canvas. If you are interested, you can find the original available on my shop .

etsy3The goldfinches on the railway paling were worth looking at
A man might imagine then
Himself in Brazil and these birds the birds of paradise

(The Great Hunger by Patrick Kavanagh)

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Reclame

The story of a blue bird

the blue tit

Hello friends! Today I want to show you my recent painting and the story behind it. I named this piece `the blue tit`, after the bird with the same name. Actually, the real name of this bird is Eurasian blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) and it is a common bird in Europe and Asia. It is easily recognizable by its blue and yellow plumage and small size.

I tried to reproduce the best that I could the color of the bird. In reality are way more details on its body. A typical Eurasian blue tit has an azure-blue crown and dark blue line passing through the eye and encircling the white cheeks to the chin, giving the bird a very distinctive appearance. The forehead and a bar on the wing are white. The nape, wings and tail are blue and the back is yellowish green. The underparts is mostly sulphur-yellow with a dark line down the abdomen. The yellowness is indicative of the number of yellowy-green caterpillars eaten, due to high levels of carotene pigments in the diet. The bill is black, the legs blue-ish gray, and the irides dark brown. The sexes are similar, but under ultraviolet light, males have a brighter blue crown. Young blue tits are noticeably more yellow. 

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The blue tit – oil painting on canvas (13×18 cm) – 2019

This bird has an interesting story, even it is very common, and we can find it in parks or gardens in the early spring. The color of its feathers are pretty unique because blue is not a very usual color that we see on animals and people are generally attracted with unusual things. Maybe that is way through years in different cultures this bird received interesting symbols.

The Blue Tit symbolizes a loyal and faithful love, because this birds have only one mate in life. Blue Tits never fly far distances from their homes, so the sight of them always denote good tidings to a sailor. It would mean that land is near. Blue Tits are also believed to carry the spirits of sailors who have died at sea, to their home in heaven. The Blue Tit can represent the best things in life, in Celtic symbolism is seen as a powerful symbol. During the earlier eras of our life, Blue Tits were connected with the gods and the soul of those people who died. The Greek and Roman’s believed in gods who transformed themselves into Blue Tits. Killing a Blue Tit was considered to be an immoral practice.

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This is a beautiful and simple bird with a powerful meaning of life. I hope you had the opportunity to see one, it is a magical creature indeed. But if you never saw one, I gave you the opportunity now. You can admire my reproduction of this tiny little bird, oil painted on canvas. If you want this painting on your home, you can get it from my online shop or send me an email if you need more information.

Shop online: https://www.etsy.com/shop/AdelaFineArt

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Landscape – Oil painting

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Landscape #1oil painting on canvas (20 cm)

Hello friends! My new oil painting is finished. This is my first piece from a future collection. I love to paint since I was little and I tried oil painting for the first time in high school, about 10 years ago. I never painted since then. But I missed so much the smell of the oils, the sound of brushes on canvas and the relaxing time that I had. After a few months of thinking constantly of that, I found time to start painting again. I hope you enjoy art as much as I do!

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