Frans Snyders

oil portrait of a man with a beard, wearing black with white lace collar and cuffs

Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641)
Frans Snyders, ca. 1620
Oil on canvas
56 1/8 × 41 1/2 in. (142.5 × 105.4 cm)
The Frick Collection; Henry Clay Frick Bequest

Frans Snyders was celebrated for his paintings of animals and still lifes and counted the king of Spain among his clients. At the end of the 1610s, Van Dyck collaborated with Snyders on several paintings, and these joint projects may have led him to sit for this portrait by Van Dyck, who was approximately twenty years old at the time. A likely occasion for the commission of this and the depiction of Snyders’s wife, Margareta de Vos, was the couple’s purchase of a large house on Antwerp’s most prestigious street, which still survives today. The architectural setting of a terrace overlooking parkland evokes the sitters’ status as wealthy patricians, while locating the portraits in a single space.

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