English School, late 17th century Portrait of a child with a blue sash and an African Grey parrot
English School, late 17th century
Portrait of a child with a blue sash and an African Grey parrot
oil on canvas
76 x 63cm
The boy stands below a tree in a landscape, with a lake in the distance, dressed in flowing red robes and a blue sash, he is pointing to an African Grey parrot which sits in the tree leaning forward toward his hand. The parrot was an expensive and exotic pet, obtained from traders in West Africa, prized for their ability to mimic human speech. The presence of parrots in paintings primarily had association with wealth and luxury, but they also symbolised purity.