The information on the early life of Jan Weenix is hard to verify, but it is thought he was born in Amsterdam sometime between 1640 and 1649. He grew up in a castle outside Utrecht, and by the age of twenty rivalled and then subsequently surpassed his father, also a painter, in breadth of treatment and richness of colour.
In Amsterdam, Weenix was frequently employed to decorate private houses with wall-paintings on canvas. One was near the Admiralty of Amsterdam. The mansion, on a canal with many rich Sefardim, was owned by a Spanish merchant, involved in sugar plantations in South America. The five fixed paintings or wallpaper on canvas became very popular in the second half of the 18th century, when nature and Rousseau were fashionable and copied.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was so impressed by the treatment of animals in Weenix pictures which he saw in Munich he devoted a poem to the master's technique in which he stated that Weenix equalled and even surpassed nature in his treatment of animal textures as hair, feathers and claws. Today, many of his best works are to be found in English private collections, however, the Wallace Collection in London, has thirteen paintings, including the intriguing "Flowers on a Fountain with a Peacock.” from which we have created this scarf.