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Frans Snyders (Antwerp 1579-1657)
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Frans Snyders (Antwerp 1579-1657)

The Gamedealer: A bearded man in a red coat holding a pair of mallard ducks in one hand by a basket with a hare, artichokes, a flagon and a cabbage

Details
Frans Snyders (Antwerp 1579-1657)
The Gamedealer: A bearded man in a red coat holding a pair of mallard ducks in one hand by a basket with a hare, artichokes, a flagon and a cabbage
oil on canvas
48 x 45¾ in. (121.9 x 116.3 cm.), including additions of 4½ in. (11.5 cm.) to the upper edge, 5½ in. (14 cm.) to the right edge, 3 3/8 in. (9.5 cm.) to the lower edge and 5 1/8 in. (13.5 cm.) to the left edge
in an English 18th Century carved and gilded 'Carlo Maratta' frame
Literature
A Catalogue of some of the Pictures at Tissington Hall the seat of Sir William FitzHerbert Baronet, 1859, 'Breakfast Room - 2 An old man selling game, vegetables, &c., lying around.'
Nora FitzHerbert, Tissington Hall - Pictures, 1938, 'No. 90. Dining Room'
Special Notice

No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
Sale Room Notice
We are grateful to Professor Susan Koslow for confirming the attribution on the basis of photographs and for pointing out that Snyders's modello for this picture is in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.

Lot Essay

This painting can be dated stylistically to the first half of the 1610s, a period in which Snyders was asserting himself as a still-life painter in Antwerp after a lengthy sojourn in Italy (he returned in 1609). As in this example, his early market scenes draw inspiration from Pieter Aertsen and Joachim Beuckelaer. While Snyders often collaborated with other artists for the figures in his compositions (Rubens, van Dyck, Cornelis de Vos and Jan Boeckhorst amongst others), he is also thought to have painted them himself, particularly in his early years. That he trained to paint figures is attested to by the fact that while in Italy, Jan Breughel charged him to paint a copy after a Titian portrait in the Borromeo collection. In addition, a collection of figure drawings by Snyders was commented on by the diarist John Evelyn while visiting Paris in 1644. Susan Koslow certainly supports the hypothesis that Snyders was active as a figure painter, observing for instance that the beard of the man featured in the Game Market of 1614 (Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago) who may be the same model as for this work, is 'painted with short parallel strokes, just as we would expect Snyders to represent hair at this time' (S. Koslow, Frans Snyders, Antwerp, 1995, p. 74). Furthermore, the enlarged size of the hands, in relation to the rest of the figure, as well as their position, relates closely to the maid seen with a pestle and mortar in the kitchen still-life of circa 1610, in the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne.

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