(b Utrecht, 1636; d Amsterdam, 3 Apr. 1695).
Dutch painter, the best-known member of a family of artists. He was the Netherlands' most renowned painter of birds, winning an international reputation with his vigorous and brightly coloured canvases. They show both domestic and exotic birds, often in vigorous movement and sometimes pointing a moral. Hondecoeter also painted still lifes. He was a prolific artist and is represented in many museums. His father, Gysbert (1604–53), was also a bird painter, and his grandfather, Gillis (d1638), was a landscapist. Melchior trained with his father and with his uncle, Jan Baptist Weenix; he worked in Utrecht, The Hague, and Amsterdam.