This impressive pair of hunting scenes are studio adaptations of known compositions by Synders. The first relates to the painting of similar dimensions in a private collection in Barcelona (H. Robels, Frans Snyders, Munich, 1989, p. 327, no. 225, illustrated), where the central group of the wild boar being attacked by hounds is close to the present picture. The main differences appear in the landscape, which in the present work is more open and less wooded, and in the position of several of the chasing hounds. Another similar autograph version, of even larger dimensions is in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Robels, no. 226). The second picture is also an adaptation of, in this case, a larger autograph work in the Riviere collection, Barcelona (Robels, no. 247), reduced copies of which are in the Museo del Prado, Madrid and the Museo Civico, Turin.
As the frames indicate, these pictures formed part of the furnishings acquired for Shirburn Castle, Oxfordshire, after this was purchased by Thomas Parker, 1st Earl of Macclesfield (1666-1732) in 1716. The moated Medieval castle was remodelled at this time and a significant landscape garden laid out. Thomas Parker started his career as a successful barrister before becoming a Whig Member of Parliament for Derby in 1705. In 1710 he was appointed Lord Chief Justice of England, and after the accession of George I his loyalty to the Crown was rewarded by being created Baron Macclesfield in 1716. He was appointed Lord Chancellor in 1718, a post he held until 1725, and in 1721 he was created Viscount Parker of Ewelme and Earl of Macclesfield. While both the 1st Earl and his son and successor, George Parker, 2nd Earl of Macclesfield (1697-1764) were primarily interested in books rather than works of art, with the exception of those acquired by the 2nd Earl on his Grand Tour of 1719-22, a notable assemblage of contemporary furniture was commissioned for the house. The gadrooned frames of the present pair of pictures are very much in character with this collection.
Three outstanding pieces of silver, representing one of the most important silver commissions in the 18th century: a George I wine cistern and cooler, and a George I wine fountain, supplied to the 1st Earl of Macclesfield by Anthony Nelme (d. 1723) in 1721, were sold by Christie's (part offer-in-lieu and part private treaty sale) to the Victoria & Albert Museum in 1997.