Dutch School 17th Century
A Study of a Toad
The author of the present work is unknown, but they were clearly an artist of considreable talent. Painted on copper, the little toad has been rendered with stunning care. The rough texture of the amphibian's bumpy back can almost be felt. Perhaps this work was a preparatory study for a still life, a menagerie type scene, or a Brueghel-like Garden of Eden work where the little toad would be one amongst a host of creatures.
The red glands behind the eyes indicate that this is a toad rather than a frog. Paratoid glands emit poison and are only rarely found on frogs. The present specimin is likely a European common toad (scientific name Bufo bufo).
Private Collection, Italy