I was wondering if anyone could help me with the plant and animal life in these still life paintings. It would be fantastic if someone could give me some information about the differnt species. What are they? Where and where do they breed? What are their behavioural patterns? What are the properties of the plants? Etc.
First impressions of R Ruysch's painting seem to appear the butterflies are true to life but unfortunately your pictures are to small I need to see them more closely, can you post larger images
I can see peacock and red admiral butterflies in the first picture. I think there's a small tortoiseshell and emperor moths in the second. Re the birds, I can see chaffinches, blue tit and house sparrow. I'm puzzled about the bird on the ground in the third picture.
Regarding the bird at the bottom of the third picture, my first impression was kingfisher - in a rather unusual pose...
Second picture: looks like a frog or toad at lower left, being stared at by what looks like a brambling next to the upturned mushroom.
If anyone wants a clearer reproduction of the second image, there is a great quality one on the National Gallery Website: http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/melchior-dhondecoeter-birds-butterflies-and-a-frog-among-plants-and-fungi
The second Rachel Ruysch painting is available in a higher res (below), forum scales it down however, so if you wish, I could give you a link to the original photo:
Unfortunately, the third painting from the top is unavailable in a higher res.
Thanks for your help so far!
butterfly mid-bottom: peacock butterfly
above that (and maybe mid-left): red admiral butterfly
mid-top: maybe small or large tortoiseshell butterfly
middle and top-right third: emperor moth
left-middle: small tortoiseshell butterfly
moth bottom right: emperor moth, Saturnia pavonia
First picture: The main plant is probably a Dock - Rumex species The seed shape is important in identifying to species so this one might be R. crispus. There is also the red and black flower of a Papaver rhoeas and the red flora plena flower of a Dianthus - Carnation.
Second picture: I can't see any flowers, but the leaves look they might be from a Opium poppy - Papaver somniferum.
Third picture:The plant at the front with the large leaves looks like a Verbascum of some description, but again without flowers it is hard to be sure. The white flowered plant behind has the look of a umbellifer, but at the definition I have from this image, I can't even be sure it is an umbellifer never mind begin to suggest a genus...
see annotated pic below...
I hope that helps a bit...