Kingfisher by the Waterside

Kingfisher by the Waterside Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890), Paris, July-August 1887


Credits: Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)

This kingfisher sits by the waterside, on the lookout for fish. Van Gogh had a mounted kingfisher, which has been preserved. Comparing this painting to the mounted bird, one notices a couple of differences. Van Gogh made the tail slightly longer in the painting, probably to achieve a balance with the raised beak. He also gave the bird feet – useful to have when perched on a reed stem. The kingfisher's brilliant blue plumage looks a little dull here.

oil on canvas, 26.6 cm x 19.1 cm
JPG Size 4,850 KB