Paris, July - August 1887 Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890)
oil on canvas,
26.6 cm x 19.1 cm
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.