A tray finished in gold leaf. The 1600 painting is from the Italian school and represents a hunting falcon with its vestments and hood. The origins of falconry are lost in the mists of time, there are drawings and murals depicting hunting scenes with the falcon that date back to the first Chinese or even Mesopotamian dynasties. Europe came into contact with the Germanic invasions towards the fourth century AD. The vandal warrior saw in falconry the overcoming of the violence and rudeness of the big game. In Europe it consolidated with the Franks of Charlemagne while in the Arab world it reached extraordinary levels of refinement, becoming a sign of aristocratic lineage and the gift of birds of prey, a symbol of prestige and respect. The Crusaders returning from the Holy Land brought with them expert falconers, who spread Arab methods and traditions, including the use of the hood. The passion of Frederick II (1194-1250) made falconry known as a real art. The word "Ars" in ancient times was a concept linked to the ability to transmit emotions, vibrations, ancient knowledge. The custom of offering hawks to the Lord as a sign of homage and tribute was established. The sovereigns came to spend enormous sums to procure the precious animals, demanding them as a tribute or as a price for the sale of territories. Falconry did not remain the prerogative of the Lords and Ladies, it also spread as a practice among Bishops and Abbots and the hawks even admitted to the Church during sacred functions. The type of bird of prey was associated with the lineage and social position of the hunter: the eagle for the Emperor, the gyrfalcon for the king, the peregrine falcon for the count, the emery for the noble lady, the goshawk for the country owner, the hawk for the priest. The breeding was practiced with great prestige at the courts of the Sforza in Milan, the Medici in Florence, the Bentivoglio in Bologna, the Estensi in Ferrara and the Gonzaga in Mantua.
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measure cm. 24x18