Aert Schouman was born in Dordrecht in 1710. At age fifteen he became the apprentice of the – otherwise quite unknown – Dordrecht painter Adriaan van der Burg. From 1742 until his death in 1792 he was the head master of the Dordrecht artist guild Teekengenootschap Pictura; from 1752 until 1762 he was also head master of the guild of The Hague. His took on his first student in 1733 and continued teaching until his death; among others, he taught the still life painter Jan van Os. He evidently also greatly influenced a number of contemporaries, and perhaps none more so than Abraham Meertens. Schouman worked primarily in The Hague, although he also spent some time in Middelburg and visited Great Britain in 1765.
Schouman was a prolific artist, who not only painted portraits, townscapes, biblical scenes and mythological themes but also wallpaper decorations. He was also active as an engraver and, occasionally, as an art dealer. Over his lifetime Schouman amassed a great collection of paintings. Today however, he is best known for his watercolors of plants and animals – especially (exotic) birds, mostly set in park-like landscapes.
The present pair of highly amusing park landscapes with exotic birds were made as preparatory studies for full-size wall decorations, which also explains their explicit verticality and relatively small size. However, painted in quick and confident brushstrokes, they are exquisite works of art in their own right who make for a very elegant and delightful pair indeed.