As Neil MacGregor says (1997 Making Masterpieces, BBC Education Production) ‘ If the masterful illusion of reality is what you want in a painting then Gerrit Dou is your man. Dou is said to have worked with a magnifying glass, tiny brushes and kept his studio dust free – the virtuoso painting makes this story believable. The dead rabbit and plucked fowls are highlighted showing their textures and ‘deadness’. They contrast with the dark background. One’s eye is led to the pecking hen in the basket and one can imagine its fate.