Robert Bateman (Prints)
Old Willow Mandarin Pair (Print)
Offset Paper; Edition Size 950
10.25" x 21.75" / 25.40cm x 53.34cm
Unframed (US Dollar): $245.00
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darin duck is aptly named. It comes from the Orient and is attired in glorious plumage
reminiscent of the elaborate silk costumes of traditional Chinese officials. Some say that the
mandarin duck is the most beautiful of all waterfowl. The only other member of the genus
“Aix” is the wood duck, an appropriate rival for the title of the duck with the most gorgeous
plumage. Like the wood duck, the mandarin nests in hollow trees where dense deciduous
forests border ponds, lakes or slow moving rivers.
The distribution in the wild of the mandarin duck is eastern China for breeding, while wintering
in Japan. However, hunting and particularly habitat destruction in China have reduced the
wild population drastically, and it continues to decline. In spite of this, there is good news.
This beautiful bird has been much prized as a captive in collections in North America,
Britain and Europe. Through the years, escapees have settled down to breed and now there
are thousands found in suitable habitats on other continents. Unlike many introduced species,
this one seems to be an attractive addition which is perfectly harmless.
In this painting I included the weeping willow which is also native to China and graces traditional
Oriental art. I like the horizontal format with the counterpoint of twisted branches and delicate twigs.”