Three Flamingos

Three Flamingos at the Water Basin is a painting by August Allebé (1838-1927). Allebé was a Dutch artist who was a leader of Amsterdam Impressionism. The work we are enjoying here is from 1872; painted while he was a professor at the Royal Academy of Amsterdam.

I think the trio of pretty birds are James’s flamingos. They are from the High Andes in Peru, Chile, Bolivia and Argentina. These beautiful birds were actually thought to be extinct until a colony was found in 1956. They are generally smaller than the flamingos native to the Americas and not as brightly colored. The museum which currently owns this painting said Allebé painted these three flamingos after visiting the zoo a number of times.

Along with the three flamingos is a smaller bird perched on the edge of the basin. One flamingo appears to be catching a nap, one is preening and the other is getting a drink. The full-colored flamingo image also has some bright green grass and a vine-like plant growing on a brown reed fence.

Luckily, the scan I found of this painting is huge. Way too big to be displayed nicely on this page. But, all you have to do is click on the drawing and you’ll be able to see all three flamingos in all their glory.

three flamingos

This image is copyright free and in the public domain anywhere that extends copyrights 70 years after death or at least 120 years after publication when the original illustrator is unknown.