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Caspar Netscher trained in Deventer with Gerard ter Borch, from about 1654 to 1659. Like his teacher, Netscher became an outstanding portraitist as well as a master of portraying the social interactions of the Dutch elite. He also developed an exquisite painting technique that allowed him to imitate a wide range of textures, whether linen, satin, or the rough nap of an oriental rug. Around 1662, after a short trip to France where he married, Netscher settled in the courtly city of The Hague. There he found a clientele eager for his refined scenes of ladies at the toilet, musical companies, and gallant soldiers. He soon turned his attention to portraiture, much like other contemporary "high life" genre painters, including Frans van Mieris.

Signed and dated "CNetscher . Ao . 16.66," A Young Woman Feeding a Parrot is one of Netscher's finest genre paintings. It depicts an elegant young woman, wearing a gold-colored dress with split sleeves, gazing coquettishly out at the viewer as she feeds an African grey parrot perched on her right hand. Peering up at her from the dim recesses of the interior is an attentive pageboy holding a silver tray. The woman and her attendant stand behind an illusionistic stone niche with a bronze-colored silk curtain pinned to the side. A sumptuous oriental carpet spilling out over the bottom ledge adds to the illusionism as it partially obscures roman numerals that are seemingly carved into the stone.  The remarkable range of Netscher's painting techniques is evident in the juxtaposition of the precisely articulated steel bird cage and the woman's shimmering dress, which Netscher modelled with softer and more fluid strokes.

A Young Woman Feeding a Parrot is in excellent condition. Netscher's brushwork is exquisite, his textures dazzling, and his colors disarmingly radiant. This masterpiece, which the Nazis confiscated from a Belgian family in 1942, has been in the Von der Heydt Museum, Wuppertal since 1952. It was recently restituted to the family's heirs, and sold at auction in 2014, where it was purchased by the art dealer Richard Green.  This acquisition will complement the Gallery's other outstanding high-life genre scenes by Gerard ter Borch, Gabriel Metsu, Frans van Mieris, Jacob Ochtervelt, and Johannes Vermeer. Fortunately, Lee and Juliet Folger/The Folger Fund have offered to purchase the painting, another extraordinary demonstration of their generosity and commitment to the National Gallery of Art.


lower left, the CN in monogram: CNetscher .Ao. / 16.66


The artist.[1] purchased 1674 for 140 guilders by (Gerrit Uylenburgh, Amsterdam);[2] consigned by 19 April 1675 to Sir Peter Lely (1618-1680), London.[3] possibly Pierre Plongeron [d. 1694], The Hague.[4] Johann Wilhelm II, Elector Palatine [1658-1716], Düsseldorf; transferred with the collection first to the elector’s Palace in Mannheim, then to the Alte Pinakothek, Munich;[5] sold 1936 to (Julius Böhler, Munich). (Firma D. Katz, Dieren), in 1937. Hugo Daniel [1867-1942] and Elisabeth J. Spanjaard [1871-1963] Andriesse, Brussels, by 1938.[6] (Kunsthandlung Abels, Cologne), in 1950; Rudolf Ziersch, Wuppertal; gift 1952 to the Von der Heydt-Museum, Wuppertal;[7] restituted 2014 to the heirs of Hugo and Elisabeth Andriesse;[8] (sale, Christie, Manson & Woods, New York, 4 June 2014, no. 16); (Richard Green Fine Paintings, London); purchased October 2016 by NGA.

Exhibition History

Tentoonstelling van belangrijke 16e en 17e eeuwsche hollandsche schilderijen, Firma D. Katz, Dieren, 1937, no. 56.
Catalogus schilderijen, teekeningen en beeldhouwwerken uit particuliere Nederlandsche verzamlingen, Museum Boymans-Van Beunigen, Rotterdam, 1938-1939, no. 24, repro.
Kurfürst Johann Wilhelms Bilder, Alte Pinakothek, Munich, 2009, repro.
Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry, Musée du Louvre, Paris; National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin; National Gallery of Art, Washington, 2017-2018, no. 13.3, repro.
Clouds, Ice, and Bounty: The Lee and Juliet Folger Fund Collection of Seventeenth-Century Dutch and Flemish Paintings, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 2021, no. 17, repro.


Gool, Johan van. De Nieuwe Schouburg der Nederlantsche Kunstschilder en Schilderessen. 2 vols. The Hague, 1751: 2:562.
Descamps, Jean Baptiste. La vie des peintres flamands, allemands et hollandais. 4 vols. Paris, 1753-1763: 3(1760):84.
Dézallier d'Argenville, Antoine-Joseph. Abrégé de la vie des plus fameux peintres. 4 vols. Paris, 1762: 3:56.
Smith, John. A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch, Flemish and French Painters. 9 vols. London, 1829-1842: 4(1833):161, no. 53.
Parthey, Gustav Friedrich. Deutscher Bildersaal. Verzeichniss der in Deutschland vorhandenen Oelbilder verstorbener Maler aller Schulen. 2 vols. Berlin, 1863-1864: 2(1864):189, no. 33.
Marggraff, Rodolphe. Catalogue des Tableaux de l'ancienne Pinacothèque Royale à Munich. Munich, 1866: 166, no. 188.
Eastlake, Charles L. Notes on the Principal Pictures in The Old Pinakothek at Munich. London, 1884: 151-152, no. 1399.
Catalogue of the Paintings in the Old Pinakothek Munich. Introduction by Dr. Franz von Reber. Translated by Joseph Thacher Clarke. Munich, 1890: 278, no. 1399.
Hanfstaengl, Franz. Die Meisterwerke der Königl. Aelteren Pinakothek zu München. Munich, 1898: 161, no. 1399, repro.
Reber, Franz von. Katalog der Gemälde-Sammlung der Königlichen älteren Pinakothek in München. 2nd ed. Munich, 1904: 300-301, no. 1399.
Wurzbach, Alfred von. Niederlandisches Kunstler-Lexikon. 3 vols. Vienna, 1906-1911: 2(1910):228.
Hofstede de Groot, Cornelis. A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century. 8 vols. Translated by Edward G. Hawke. London, 1907-1927: 5(1913):195, no. 137.
Hofstede de Groot, Cornelis. Beschreibendes und kritisches Verzeichnis der Werke der hervorragendsten holländischen Maler des XVII. Jahrhunderts. 10 vols. Esslingen and Paris, 1907-1928: 5(1912):274, no. 397a.
Bercken, Erich von der. Katalog der Älteren pinakothek zu München. Munich, 1930: no. 417 (1399).
Städtisches Museum Wuppertal. 50 Jahre Städtisches Museum Wuppertal, 1902-1952. Wuppertal, 1952: 4, 31, fig. 3.
Pigler, Andor. Barockthemen: eine Auswahl von Verzeichnissen zur Ikonographie des 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts. 3 vols. Rev. ed. Budapest, 1974: 2:536.
Robinson, Franklin W. Gabriel Metsu (1629-1667): A Study of His Place in Dutch Genre Painting of the Golden Age. New York, 1974: 94, fig. 229.
Aust, Günter. Das Von der Heydt Museum in Wuppertal. Recklinghausen, 1977: 10, 20 fig. 26.
Aust, Günter. Von der Heydt-Museum Wuppertal. Braunschweig, 1979: 18.
Sutton, Peter C. Masters of Seventeenth-Century Dutch Genre Painting. Edited by Jane Iandola Watkins. Exh. cat. Philadelphia Museum of Art; Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin; Royal Academy of Arts, London. Philadelphia, 1984: xlvi, fig. 73.
Rowedder, Eva, and Hans-Joachim Raupp. Niederländische Malerei des 17. Jahrhunderts aus dem Von der Heydt-Museum Wuppertal. Wuppertal, 1985: 60-61, no. 659, repro.
Sluijter, Eric J., Marlies Enklaar, and Paul Nieuwenhuizen. Leidse Fijnschilders: van Gerrit Dou tot Frans van Mieris de Jonge 1630-1760. Exh. cat. Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden. Zwolle, 1988: 253, 255.
Ydema, Onno. Carpets and Their Datings in Netherlandish Paintings, 1540-1700. Zutphen, 1991: 168.
Wieseman, Marjorie E. Caspar Netscher and Late Seventeenth-Century Dutch Painting. Doornspijk, 2002: 207-208, no. 54, color pl. 10.
Yeide, Nancy H. Beyond The Dreams of Avarice: The Hermann Goering Collection. Dallas, 2009: 384, no. A1216, repro.
Rahusen, Henriette. "Caspar Netcher, A Woman Feeding a Parrot with a Page". National Gallery of Art Bulletin 56 (Spring 2017): 28-29, repro.
Rahusen, Henriette. "Caspar Netscher, A Woman Feeding a Parrot, with a Page." National Gallery of Art Bulletin no. 56 (Spring 2017): 28-29, repro.

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