Table of contents:
- A little about the artist
- Snyders Hall in the State Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg
- Fish shop
- Fruit in a bowl on a red tablecloth
- Game shop
The name of the famous painter of Flanders Frans Snyders entered the history of art in the brightest period in the development of the Flemish still life. Large-scale compositions, impressive in their huge size, combined still life, animation genre and everyday scenes. The painter brought the breath of real life into this genre, refined the plot, giving the usual market scenes the character of a grandiose and vivid spectacle.
In fact, the unique compositions of Frans Snyders created a new direction in Flemish art, since the main part of the painter's works belongs to the still life genre only conditionally. The size of each canvas is more than three meters in length and more than two in height, which gives them signs of monumental and decorative art.
These grandiose decorative canvases, depicting counters heaped with game, fish, vegetables and fruits, as well as images of sellers and buyers, brought worldwide fame to the Flemish painter.
A little about the artistLittle France was born in 1579 in Antwerp to the family of the owner of a large tavern, which is very popular with local gourmets. From an early age, the boy saw a lot of various foods, which later became the main object of the image for him.
The gift for drawing showed up very early. And already at the age of 13, he became a student of Pieter Brueghel the Younger. And at 22, Frans Snyders was admitted to the Guild of St. Luke - a guild organization that united artists.
For about a year, France lived in Italy in order to improve his skills. And when he returned, he became close to Peter Paul Rubens, working with whom he painted on flowers, fruits and animals on his canvases. There are many paintings that are evidence of their creative union.
Thanks to Rubens, Snyders was able to find the paths on which. He moved on to the great monumental and decorative style, which subsequently brought him worldwide fame.
The artist painted his works for eminent customers, among them was the Spanish king Philip IV, as well as for wealthy fellow citizens who wanted to see unusually beautiful still lifes in their apartments, awakening the appetite and, as it were, talking about the wealth of the owners of the house. As a rule, dining rooms were decorated with such monumental paintings.
Looking at the grandiose paintings of the Flemish master, there is an association with a cornucopia from which various fruits and vegetables, piles of all kinds of wild game and overseas outlandish delicacies are poured onto the shelves in a chaotic manner.
What attracts the viewer's special attention is that along with dead animals, birds, fish, living representatives of the animal world are written. These are monkeys, parrots, squirrels, cats, hunting dogs attracted by the smell of fresh meat, nuts and sweet fruits.
Almost all of the artist's works are oversaturated with objects and images, however, he very skillfully managed to bring all this abundance into an integral compositional row, which did not burden his paintings at all.
Glorifying the richness of nature and the abundance of the gifts of the earth in colors, Snyders conveyed the shape, texture and color of objects with extraordinary penetration, composing them into luxurious decorative compositions. While maintaining a rich color gamut.
However, in the days of Snyders, there really was no such abundance in the shops. For the most part, the artist was guided by fiction and his own imagination. He just tried to emphasize how rich the earth is in the gifts of nature.
Snyders Hall in the State Hermitage Museum of St. PetersburgThe State Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg has a whole hall dedicated to the work of the outstanding Flemish artist. It contains fourteen works by Frans Snyders. The most striking and deserving of special attention are four monumental paintings from the "Lavki" series (late 1610s).
The Hermitage houses an amazing creation by Frans Snyders, The Fish Shop, which fascinates with its abundance of sea and river food. The artist has skillfully assembled a huge mass of the inhabitants of the underwater world on the counter.
Their abundance simply scatters eyes. There are ready-made steaks of red fish, flounder and pike, eels and carps, crabs and lobsters, perches and various large and small fish. All kinds of fish are everywhere: on and under the counter, in baskets and hanging structures. Looking closely under the counter, we see a turtle trying to quietly escape, and a seal grinning at a cat, and escaping crabs, and a killer whale, incredibly small in size, beating its tail on the floor.
The shopkeeper himself is least noticeable in this chaos. One of the reasons is that Snyders did not like to draw people and other artists often added them on his canvases. As a rule, these were Jacob Jordaens and Abraham Janssens. Apparently, therefore, the merchant did not fit into the color of this stirring mass, which is unlikely to arouse an appetite, but the viewer's interest is certainly.
Fruit in a bowl on a red tablecloth
In the Hermitage, you can also see other paintings by Frans Snyders, for example, "Fruit in a bowl on a red tablecloth." Where translucent green grapes, bright yellow pears, plums, freckled apricots on a branch with leaves, figs coexist on a faience dish. And also in ceramic plates, standing next to each other, blackberries and hazelnuts. The whole composition is very favorably emphasized by a red tablecloth and a dark blue background.
And again a trade shop. Only this time filled with beaten game. We see a contrasting combination of red and white, living and dead. It is worth noting the reaction of the hunting dog to the lurking cat in the window opening and the alarmed chickens in the basket.
The Flemish school of painting was famous in the 17th century for artists who were able to unrivaledly combine a huge mass of objects on one canvas. This was Willem van Hacht, who managed to depict an entire art gallery in one picture.