Turkey (Johann Wenzel Peter)

Turkey (Johann Wenzel Peter)

Here is a magnificent turkey painted by naturalistic German master Johann Wenzel Peter  (1745-1829) sometime in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century.  Peter was acutely fond of painting images depicting biblical paradise filled with beautiful animals living in harmony (but with ominous thunder clouds blowing in).  This magnificent Narragansett Turkey boldly strutting along in a wilderness beneath a lowering sky looks as though he could almost have come from one of the artist’s religious compositions about the world before the Fall. Peter is almost forgotten now (to such an extent that I can find his art online but can not find a biography) yet the work online reveals that he was the greatest turkey painter of the Enlightenment…and perhaps ever.