Artist: Hendrick van Balen the Elder
Medium: Oil on panel
Date: c. 1620s
Location: St. James' Church, Antwerp.
On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me three french hens...
Three French Hens would most likely be representative of the Holy Trinity. The Christian doctrine of the Trinity teaches the unity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as three persons in one Godhead. In this painting Hendrick van Balen the Elder, a Flemish Baroque painter, has depicted the three in their traditional guises: God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit as a dove.