Hieronymus Bosch’s first ever gadwall duck depiction


duck on Jeroen Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights

In February 2016, Kees Moeliker, director of the natural history museum in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, discovered the first depiction ever of a gadwall duck in the Netherlands.

On a detail of his famous painting The Garden of Earthly Delights, late medieval/early renaissance painter Hieronymus Bosch depicted a ‘super size’ male gadwall, passing a berry to a human. The painting is now in the Prado museum in Madrid, Spain.

Gadwall ducks have been rare for a long time in the Netherlands. Only recently, their numbers have increased. This depiction by Bosch indicates they probably lived in the southern Netherlands about 1500 AD.

This video from Sweden shows a male and a female gadwall.

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