OIL PAINTING: Hunting Still-Life, 1665
In this oil painting - Hunting Still-Life, Aelst displayed the finely worked equipment of the huntsman on a marble ledge: a velvet hunting bag with chamois strap, trimmed with gold embroidery and fringes, and a tasseled horn. Above it he suspended the exquisite catch of a fat partridge and three small game birds. The exquisite blue of the velvet contains the expensive pigment lapis lazuli, which yields ultramarine colour when ground. It was imported from China. Van Aelst's lavish use of it reinforces the preciousness of the arrangement and confirms its destination in a wealthy home. Most Dutch painters used cheaper, less stable blue pigments.