Bird Hunting

Gabriel Alexandre Decamps

French, 1803–1860

Bird Hunting


Decamps’s many hunting scenes reveal a detailed knowledge of the sport, developed during his rural upbringing. In this painting, the red object on the horizon is a lure covered with mirrors. One of the larks attracted by the lure has been shot by the hunter on the right. Images like this proved very popular with contemporary collectors.

Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions 13 11/16 x 20 in. (34.8 x 50.8 cm) Frame: 20 1/2 x 26 1/2 x 2 3/8 in. (52.1 x 67.3 x 6 cm)
Object Number 1955.701
Acquisition Acquired by Sterling and Francine Clark, 1933
Status Off View

Image Caption

Gabriel Alexandre Decamps, Bird Hunting, 1830, Oil on canvas. The Clark Art Institute, 1955.701.


Lees, Sarah, ed. Nineteenth-Century European Paintings at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, MA: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute; New Haven and London: distributed by Yale University Press, 2012.


Charles-Auguste-Louis-Joseph, duc de Morny, Paris (by 1855–d. 1865, his sale, Paris, 31 May 1865, no. 9, as Chasse au miroir); Khalil Bey, Paris (until Jan. 1868, his sale, Drouot, Paris, 16–18 Jan. 1868, no. 12, as Chasseurs au miroir); Comte de Lambertye (until Dec. 1868, his sale, Drouot, Paris, 17 Dec. 1868, no. 14, as Le Chasseur au miroir); [Haro, père et fils, Paris, until 1892, their sale, Galerie Sedelmeyer, Paris, 30–31 May 1892, no. 75, as Chasse au miroir, sold to Durand-Ruel]; [Durand-Ruel, Paris and New York, 1892–1933, sold to Clark, 20 June 1933, as La Chasse au miroir];¹ Robert Sterling Clark (1933–55); Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1955.

1. According to the Durand-Ruel Archives, the painting was transferred several times between the galleries in Paris and New York: it was sold from Paris to New York on 19 Apr. 1893; from New York to Paris on 25 June 1896; and from Paris to New York on 20 Aug. 1898. See correspondence of 24 Apr. 2001 in the Clark’s curatorial file.