“Art does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible”

paul klee

I always loved butterflies. I used to collect them as a child, but at some point I stopped. I couldn’t bear having to kill them.

Now, in my project “Song of the Butterfly”, I explore the fine line between art and reality by creating butterflies from wood and painting them by hand. I frame them with their (scientific) names, but without glass and without pins: they’re free, as it were, to come and go as they please.

I choose to con­cen­trate on real, native species: this is my humble ode to nature. My pieces are, however, slightly larger than life-size; while still looking real, this empha­sizes their grace and presence.

A selection of these handmade butterflies is presented below.


Some time around 1975...  

Old World swallowtail
old world swallowtail
Papilio machaon
19.4 × 15 cm

Plain Tiger
plain tiger
Danaus chrysippus
16.2 × 12 cm

European Peacock
european peacock
Aglais io
17.2 × 13.6 cm

Red Admiral
red admiral
Vanessa atalanta
14 x 11 cm

Small Tortoiseshell
small tortoiseshell
Aglais urticae
17.2 × 13.8 cm

Cabbage White
cabbage white
Pieris rapae
14 x 11 cm

Silver-striped hawk-moth
silver-striped hawk-moth
Hippotion celerio
19 × 14.6 cm

Hummingbird hawk-moth
hummingbird hawk-moth
Macroglossum stellatarum
14 × 11.5 cm

Peach Blossom
peach blossom
Thyatira batis
14.5 x 11.5 cm

Eyed hawk-moth
eyed hawk-moth
Smerinthus ocellatus
18 × 13 cm

Lime hawk-moth
lime hawk-moth
Mimas tiliae
16.5 × 13 cm

Willowherb hawkmoth
willowherb hawkmoth
Proserpinus proserpina
16.5 × 13 cm

Giant Peacock Moth
giant peacock moth
Saturnia pyri
25.8 × 18.8 cm



All the pieces are for sale and can be shipped inter­nationally. Each image links to a separate page with price and details.



Many pieces have already been sold. New ones can be com­mis­sioned, and usually take about two or three weeks to complete.

Just like in nature, they’re similar but never identical; each piece is unique. You can follow the process with pictures and see the end result before delivery.




“visual flood”

Song of the Butterfly on Brazilian online magazine Visual Flood, among some of my hero artists.

“amazing world”

Nice attantion to Song of the Butterfly on this showcase page.

exhibition elisabeth vreedehuis

Song of the Butterfly was on exhibition at the gallery of Elisabeth Vreedehuis from August till November 2022

de vlinderstichting

A fantastic post about Song of the Butterfly by the Dutch Butterfly Conservation foundation.

new work

I regulartly share new work in progress on social media: Facebook and Instagram


the process

Watch on YouTube a video of the whole process, from a piece of wood to a framed butterfly:



i Research and drawing

Each piece begins with a shape study: what defines it? Which silhouette is the most distinctive and recognizable?

ii Sawing

I use a jigsaw to cut out the shapes from fine-grained, recycled cherry wood.

iii Basic shaping

I get the basic three dimensional form with mechanical sanders.

iv Fine shaping

With jewelers files, multi-tools, scalpels and sand­paper I fine tune and add detail, eyes and hair.

v Painting

I use various colourfast, pigment-rich pencils, gouache and acrylic paints for the artwork.

vi Finishing

I place the end result in a handmade frame with its scientific name, but without glass and without pins: it’s free, as it were, to come and go as it pleases.



eyal holtzman

Eyal Holtzman

I studied Graphic & Typo­graphic Design, gradu­ating from the Royal Academy of Art (kabk) in The Hague in 1996. I have been active as an inde­pendent artist, designer and lecturer, teaching at art academies in Holland and China. Since 2007 I have been co-running graphic design agency Studio Eyal & Myrthe, specializing in books and typography.


* In this website I used my own typeface Kristal, which is available at type foundry Bold Monday.




E-mail: eyal@songofthebutterfly.art

WhatsApp: +31-6-1909-5460

Facebook: /songofthebutterfly.art




“A man’s work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened.”

albert camus