Melchior d'Hondecoeter's specialty of poultry painting was something of a family business. Melchior's father and grandfather had both been interested in animal painting.
Besides strikingly realistic scenes of birds, d'Hondecoeter also painted wall hangings with views of buildings and parks. Here, too, birds were usually involved. He was born in Utrecht in 1636 and died in Amsterdam in 1695. Between 1659 and 1663, he worked in The Hague.