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Frans Snyders or Frans Snijders (1579 – 1657) was a Flemish painter of animals, hunting scenes, market scenes and still lifes. He was one of the earliest specialist animaliers and he is credited with initiating a wide variety of new still-life and animal subjects in Antwerp. He was a regular collaborator with leading Antwerp painters such as Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck and Jacob Jordaens.
Snyders was recorded as a student of Pieter Brueghel the Younger in 1593, and subsequently trained with Hendrick van Balen, who was the first master of Anthony van Dyck. Snyders became a master of the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke in 1602. He travelled to Italy in 1608-9 where he first resided in Rome. The artist subsequently traveled from Rome to Milan. Jan Brueghel the Elder had introduced him there by letter to the famous art collector Cardinal Borromeo. Brueghel asked Snyders to paint a copy after a portrait by Titian in the Borromeo collection. This is regarded as evidence that Snyders was a skilled figure painter before he turned his attention to still life painting.
Monkey business, while the monkey had since the Middle Ages symbolized the sinner – a greedy, lecherous creature, driven by its senses only – during the 16th and 17th centuries it became the symbol of stupidity. Through their uncontrolled grabbing and consuming of food the monkeys show their barbaric nature which is driven solely by animal instinct and desire. The Louvre compositions with capuchin monks can also be interpreted as a form of vanitas paintings: the fruit in these still lifes is appetizing yet bound to perish. The fruit thus symbolizes the brevity and futility of life. The compositions can further be regarded as illustrations of the risk of poor household management which is driven solely by the satisfaction of the senses.
ArtWorks of Frans Snyders
Kitchen Still Life, 1605-1610
Still Life, 1616
Game Stall, 1618
Still Life with Crab, Poultry, and Fruit, 1615-1620
Greyhound Catching a Young Wild Boar, 1620
Fish market, 1621
Concert Of Birds, 1629-1630
Hounds Bringing down a Boar, Frans Snyders
Still Life with Fruit, Dead Game, Vegetables, a Live Monkey, Squirrel and Cat, Frans Snyders
Still Life with dead hares and birds, armchair, hounds, hunting gun – Frans Snyders
The Fishmonger, 1657
Sable of the Fox and the Heron, 1657
Hunting still life, 1640-1650
Three Monkeys Stealing Fruit, 1640-1649
Still Life of Game and Shellfish, 1640-1649