I went on a hunt for birdcage to paint and I found this vintage French one in Chicago.  It is handmade dating back to the mid-nineteenth century.  Birds were very popular amongst the affluent for their ability to entertain by singing and were also considered to be a decorative element in the home.  Wire became available in the mid-1800s and became widely used to make birdcages. In 1853, Charles Reiche published the influential book, “The Bird Fancier’s Companion.”  In it, he explained that pet owners who wanted to keep their canary singing, “should keep them in cages of about a foot in diameter, either round or square; as in a large cage they will not sing so well or constant, having too much room to fly about and amuse themselves.”

I enjoyed the challenges of recreating in paint the wonderful patina of the rusted wires and the aged peeling paint.  Adding the nest and eggs was so perfect for this composition.  The brilliant aqua-blue eggs add a lovely shot of unexpected color to the otherwise, muted palette.