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History of Bird Oil Paintings

Bird oil paintings have been some of the most popular artworks due to their elegant themes and colourful depictions of birds. From van Gogh to Carel Fabritius, many famous painters of history depicted birds in their paintings.
Depicting birds in artworks dates back to ancient times. In the Medieval ages, birds were often portrayed as symbols of purity, freedom, and peace. They also appeared frequently in religious art due to their association with several religious concepts.

However, a significant amount of paintings with birds come from the 16th and 17th centuries, when the expansion of colonialism sparked an interest in exotic bird species.
In this era, animal painters depicted birds in their anatomical works, animal portraits and landscapes. Of course, the trend of painting birds kept increasing through the following centuries.

Different Oil Painting Themes with Birds

Those looking for original bird oil painting for sale UK should be able to differentiate between different bird-related oil painting themes. This way, they can effortlessly choose the best artwork for them.
Here are some of the most prominent oil painting themes with birds:
  • Anatomical paintings: This type of painting usually depicts an animal - in this case, a bird - in the most accurate way possible. Although the theme often focuses on the physical qualities of the animal, some anatomical pieces can take a portrait-like approach and add personal details to the artwork.
  • Bird portraits: Bird portraits usually depict a real or fictional bird with a non-sophisticated narrative. Most of the time, the painter doesn't aim to represent the bird in the most physically accurate way.
  • Symbolic paintings: Birds symbolise freedom, peace, prosperity and joy. Therefore, they often appear in paintings as symbols of various romantic concepts. Plus, some species of birds are associated with more divine concepts due to their behaviours. A fine example of such birds is the goldfinch, which was associated with the passion of Christ due to its habit of eating thistle seeds. On the other hand, mythological birds like Simurgh, symbolising wisdom and power in Iranian mythology, also appear in oil paintings.
  • Landscapes: While landscape oil paintings usually don't contain animate subjects, birds and other animals occasionally appear in such paintings.

Popular and Historical Paintings Depicting Birds

Albrecht Dürer, Little Owl, 1506

Albrecht Dürer was one of the most famous German painters Üof the Renaissance period. He was not only a master of painting but also a theorist and an established printer who contributed to the German Renaissance through his works. While Dürer has created numerous classical oil paintings, a certain watercolour piece depicting an owl is considered among the most beautiful bird oil paintings: Little Owl. Unfortunately, there isn't much information about this fascinating painting.

Jan Asselijn, The Threatened Swan, 1650

Jan Asselijn was a Dutch Golden Age Painter who became famous for his realistic paintings. The Threatened Swan is one of the finest examples of his masterful portrayal of nature. In the painting, a mute swan can be seen aggressively defending her nest against a dog. Recent speculation suggests that the swan represents Zeus in the story of Leda and the Swan, where Zeus rapes Leda in the form of a swan.

Carel Fabritius, The Goldfinch, 1654

Considered one of the finest examples of bird oil painting art, The Goldfinch by Carel Fabritius is truly a timeless artwork. The painting depicts a European goldfinch as its subject matter, reflecting the animal's majesty. Although the bird has appeared in many European artworks throughout the Renaissance due to its association with the crucifixion of Jesus, Fabritius' depiction was the most influential of them all.

Vincent van Gogh, The Kingfisher, 1886

The most famous post-Impressionist artist, Vincent van Gogh, painted his figurative oil paintingThe Kingfisher, in Paris. The artwork depicts a River Kingfisher in a marsh, facing the right of the canvas, among the reeds. 

Archibald Thorburn, Peacock and Peacock Butterfly, 1917

A handmade bird oil painting that is also a butterfly paintingPeacock and Peacock Butterfly is one of the most fascinating artworks depicting animals. The artwork illustrates a peacock displaying his plumage while a peacock butterfly rests nearby.


How to Clean Bird Oil Paintings?

After you buy bird oil painting online, you should learn how to care for your painting. Here are a few tips to properly clean your oil painting:
  • In order to clean the dust off the surface, use a smooth brush or cotton swab,
  • Do not pressure the canvas while cleaning,
  • Avoid using water, alcohol or baby oil to clean the canvas,
  • Take the painting to a conservator every once in a while.

How to Frame a Bird Oil Painting?

Once you choose the ideal bird oil painting buy the perfect frame for your artwork.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to frame your bird oil painting:
  • Remove the frame's glass,
  • Lay your frame down and place the painting within,
  • Secure the painting by putting frame clips,
  • Place a cardboard paper on the back of the frame as a dust covering,
  • Install mounting rings to the back of your frame,
  • Hang the artwork on the wall.

How to Protect Bird Oil Paintings?

Preserving original bird oil painting for sale UK requires good attention. Here are significant tips to protect your oil painting from damage and discolouration:
  • Avoid direct sunlight in your painting,
  • Don't hang your artwork near fireplaces or any source of heat,
  • If you can't clean the painting yourself, take it to a conservator,
  • Revarnish the painting every once in a while,
  • Clean the painting whenever it gets dusty,
  • Occasionally examine for insect damage.

What to Consider When Buying?

If you want to buy bird oil paintings, you should consider a few details:
  • Choosing a professional seller is the key to getting the finest quality products,
  • Consider your budget and don't go over it,
  • Buy art that makes you feel inspired and interested,
  • Purchase original products as their quality will be better than copies,
  • Choose an artwork that complements your home's décor and colours.

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