A Sparrowhawk is a painting by Venetian artist Jacopo de' Barbari, probably made late in the 1510s while he was working in the Netherlands towards the end of his life. It depicts a female sparrowhawk, perched on a wooden rail near the corner of a room, with shadows thrown onto the plain, plastered wall behind. The grey-winged bird of prey has jesses with a bell attached to its legs. It may be a fragment of a larger work, now lost. It has been considered as an early example of a trompe-l'œil painting, using perspective and shadows to give the impression of a real bird occupying space, similar to The Goldfinch of Carel Fabritius, which you can check in our Archive.
A small bell just above its left foot would alert its handler to its whereabouts as it was flying. It is tied by a slender piece of rope, but its bright eye shows how keenly alert it is to the world.
P.S. One of the most famous birds in art is the goldfinch, immortalized on the Carel Fabritius' canvas. It inspired a novel and a film. Did you know? Read more here!