Jakob Bogdani

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Flamingo and Other Birds in a Landscape

Jakob Bogdani (6 May 1658 - 11 November 1724), whose names are sometimes spelt Jacob and Bogdany, was a Slovak and British artist well known for his still life and exotic bird paintings.


Bogdani was born in city of Prešov, then in Sáros County in the north of the Kingdom of Hungary, in Slovakia. In 1684 he went to Amsterdam[1] where he lived and worked until moving to London in 1688. There he found success as a specialist still life and bird painter at the court of Queen Anne, and several of his paintings became part of the Royal Collection. One of his chief patrons was Admiral George Churchill, brother of the Duke of Marlborough, whose famous aviary at Windsor Park may have supplied subjects for some of his paintings.[2]

Bogdani married Elizabeth Hemmings with whom he had two children, William, who became a prominent British civil servant, and Elizabeth, who married the painter Tobias Stranover. He influenced the bird painter Marmaduke Cradock.[1] He died in Finchley, London.


His bird paintings featured an array of exotic species such as cockatoos, macaws, and mynas, which were likely to have been imported to European menageries at the time. He mixed them with familiar European birds such as great and blue tits, European green woodpeckers and Eurasian jays. He would often highlight a painting with a bird of red plumage, such as a scarlet ibis, red avadavat or northern cardinal.[3] Numerous birds were usually crowded into his landscapes; an exception was the highly regarded Two Icelandic Falcons, painted around the end of the 17th century or early 18th. Currently housed in Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery, it depicts two snowy white Gyrfalcons.

One of his pictures was used as the cover of the 1974 Procol Harum album Exotic Birds and Fruit.


  1. ^ a b Jakob Bogdány in the RKD
  2. ^ Rafael Valls: Jakob Bogdani biography
  3. ^ Elphick, Jonathan (2004). Birds:The Art of Ornithology. London: Natural History Museum. p. 24. ISBN 1-902686-66-7. 

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