Frans Snyders

Fish Market

Fish Market
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: Frans Snyders
Still Life, Painting, Oil on canvas, 209.5x341 cm
Origin: Flanders, 1620s

The Hermitage has 14 paintings by the famous Flemish painter of animals, hunting scenes and still lifes, Frans Snyders. Son of the owner of one of the largest restaurants in Antwerp, famous for its abundance of vegetables, fruit, fish and game, Snyders found rich material for his paintings. Snyders created his own individual concept of still life painting, which was monumental, decorative and dynamic. A characteristic example of this is the series of four market stalls commissioned from Snyders by Jacques van Ophem, powerful representative of the administration of Archduke Albert and the Infanta Isabella - the Spanish viceroys in the Southern Netherlands.

The Fishmarket shows a seemingly endless variety of the inhabitants of rivers, seas and lakes, depicted by Snyders with almost biological precision. The human figures give the canvas something of the feel of a genre painting: one is catching eels in a wooden tub, another is cutting a fish into pieces, while in the background the life of a sea port unfolds.

Style: Baroque
Source of entry: Collection of baron L.A. Crozat de Tierra, Paris, 1772
Exibition: Flemish Art: 17th century

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