Frans Snyders

(d. 1579)

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(bapt. Antwerp, 11 Nov. 1579; d Antwerp, 19 Aug. 1657).

Flemish painter of animals, hunting scenes, and still life, active mainly in Antwerp. He was a pupil of Pieter Brueghel the Younger and perhaps of Hendrick van Balen. In 1602 he became a master in the Antwerp painters' guild, and in 1608–9 he visited Italy (mainly Rome and Milan). Back in Antwerp, he became a close friend of Rubens, also recently returned from Italy (he was eventually executor of Rubens's will). Snyders often collaborated with Rubens: he painted animals, fruits, and flowers in Rubens's pictures, and Rubens painted figures in his. He later had the same kind of reciprocal arrangement with Jordaens, and also collaborated with van Dyck, Janssen, and Cornelis de Vos (his brother-in-law). Snyders's independent works show he was the finest animal painter of his time; the best are his scenes of fighting wild animals and hunts, which have a tremendous sense of Baroque vitality.

Subjects: Art.

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