food in the arts




SNYDERS, Frans/ ARTISTS BEFORE 1650 / ART MAIN film and food  
(b. 1579, Antwerpen, d. 1657, Antwerpen)

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Baroque artist who was the most noted 17th-century painter of hunting scenes and animals in combat. He studied under Pieter Brueghel the Younger, and afterward under Hendrik van Balen. He visited Italy in 1608. In 1611 he married Margaretha de Vos, the sister of the Flemish painters Cornelis and Paul de Vos.

Snyders originally devoted himself to painting flowers, fruit, and still-life subjects, later turning to his lively depictions of animals. The compositions of these scenes of hunting and animals fighting are rich and varied. His drawing is accurate and vigorous, and his touch bold and thoroughly expressive of the different textures of furs and skins. Rubens frequently employed him to paint animals, fruit, and still-life objects in his own pictures.

Snyders was appointed principal painter to the archduke Albert, governor of the Low Countries, for whom he executed some of his finest works. One of these, a "Stag Hunt," was presented to Philip III of Spain, who commissioned the artist to paint several subjects of the chase.

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Fish Shop

Oil on canvas, 210,5 x 340 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg
The "Fish Shop" was originally painted for Bishop Antonio Triest to decorate the main dining room of his Bruges palace. The large 209 x 341cm canvas was later acquired by Catherine II in 1772. The canvas spectacularly displays the abundant gifts from the sea.

Fruit and Vegetable Stall

Oil on canvas, 201 x 333 cm
Alte Pinakothek, Munich
Occasionally it is hard to distinguish market scenes from the genre of early kitchen scenes which also tended to display still-life features. Similar to the market stall, they often show tables and sideboards with clusters of baskets and bowls full of fruit and vegetables. Many kitchen scenes are only distinguishable from market scenes by the setting. While the former have their location in a dark basement room, the latter often appear to be situated alongside the wall of a house, with a view of an open square or a street to the side.