Bateleurs – inc. Cream Back Morph

SOLD      Size: ± 90 x 60 x 3,5cm / 35 x 24 x 1,5″

Artwork Description:

This Artwork shows two Bateleurs (Terathopius ecaudatus) where they are seated on a dead Camel Thorn Tree. In the background one can see a bright blue expanse as one typically finds in the Kalahari. These raptors can often be seen in pairs as they are monogamous.
The word Bateleur means “street performer” or “tumbler” in French (Ref Link). “This name implies the bird’s characteristic habit of rocking its wings from side to side when gliding, as if catching its balance (Ref Link).” Whenever I see these in nature I am thrilled as they are such incredibly beautiful creatures.
Bateleurs have very distinct features. Their particularly short tail and feather pattern (even with it being different for the male and female) make them rather easy to identify even in flight. The female has faded secondary wing feathers as can be seen in the bird toward the lower left hand corner of the painting. What is of particular interest in this painting is that it also shows the very scarce cream back Bateleur morph (also the female in the lower left). I was not even aware of this before I started with this project and I have been watching birds for many years!
I would like to give credit to Kotie Herholdt as the slide I worked from is from his personal collection. I also used multiple other photo references to help where I couldn’t gain enough visual clues from the original photo. For me the delight is in the details and with this artwork I had plenty of opportunity to do so!

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• March 4, 2019

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