Inspired by late 17th c. bird ceilings. Two new painted ceilings on antique floorboards for a 1670’s Herengracht monument,
Birds in full flight on some recently discovered 17th century Amsterdam ceilings, were inspiration for two newly designed paintings done on over a hundred pieces of antique floorboard, installed between the beams of a 1670’s Herengracht monument.
Flying birds painted above your head on the boards between the ceiling beams, enjoyed a short two decades of being highly fashionable roughly between 1660 and ‘80. But, as fashions do, they go out of style eventually, and in the following centuries all of these vivid birds were covered, either by elaborately carved rococo ceilings, 19th century plaster or even simply overpainted.
Reviving a genre.
So when its current owner decided to restore her newly acquired 1670’s canal “palazzo” as a family home, after decades of being in use as bank office stripped of its original floors and all but every historic interior detail, one of my first proposals was obvious.
Doing a new interpretation of 17th c Amsterdam bird ceilings has been a long cherished dream, and this was the perfect occasion, as a house from this date could once have held such a ceiling, and there’s no way of knowing if it actually did.
I really like that idea..
In recent years seventeenth century painted birds have been discovered behind wood, paint or plaster on several locations. There is something strikingly appropriate about these animals resurfacing in this time of biodiversity crises.
In recent years seventeenth century painted birds have been discovered behind wood, paint or plaster on several locations.
These new ceiling paintings are about birds that have been stuck behind paint, wood or wallpaper for centuries, slightly deformed - or choreographed like flowers in an herbarium.
“Le rappèl des Oiseaux” ( a title derived from one of Rameau’s compositions) was installed in July 2022.