Masterpieces of the Golden Age

Carel Fabritius' goldfinch


Artist Carel Fabritius
Title The goldfinch
Year 1654
Technique Oil on panel
Current location Mauritshuis, The Hague, The Netherlands

Carel Fabritius

Carel Fabritius (1622-1654) was a pupil of Rembrandt, and probably his most talented pupil. Only 15 paintings by Fabritius are known. He died in October 1654, in an explosion of a gun powder magazine in Delft. The blast killed over 100 people and destroyed a large part of the city, including Fabritius' studio and many of his paintings.

The goldfinch

The goldfinch

Fabritius painted The goldfinch in 1654, shortly before his tragic and premature death. It was probably meant as a trompe-l'oeil (deception of the eye): Hanging high on the wall, the painting should give the impression that there was really a goldfinch sitting on a perch.

The finch on the painting is chained - goldfinches were often kept as pets.

The goldfinch is on permanent display in the Mauritshuis in The Hague.