Still Life with a Wine Cooler

Frans Snyders1610 - 1620

Fundación Banco Santander

Fundación Banco Santander
Madrid, Spain

A few years ago this canvas was attributed to Frans Snyders, who entered the Painters’ Guild in Antwerp in 1602, spent time in Italy from 1608 to 1609 and shortly afterwards began to work with Rubens, specialising in the depiction of dead animals and game and fruit and vegetables. Most of his output, however, which consists of large-format canvases, was produced independently, with a preference for still lifes set in kitchens or scenes of market stalls. Snyders evolved towards the depiction of live animals as, for example, in the numerous canvases that he painted for Philip IV (including the project for the Torre de la Parada of 1636-1638).

In general, the elements in this still life and their arrangement are close to Snyders’s early style and the canvas can thus be dated to the second decade of the 17th century. The small scene in the background is derived from Pieter Aertsen and Joachim Beuckelaer, while the table with cheeses, tankard and glass looks to the still lifes of meals by Osias Beert and Clara Peeters. The intense chiaroscuro used here would soon disappear from Snyders’s works. However, the peacock, the boar’s head, cabbage and small birds that create a compositional diagonal do reappear in later works. There are surprising similarities (the wine cooler, boar and peacock) between this composition and the panel of Taste by Jan Brueghel of 1618, in which the figures were painted by Rubens (Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid).

There is no doubt that the signature that appeared following a recent cleaning, which reads “David Teniers junior / Fecit 1675”, is false. The present work has nothing in common with the numerous compositions by that artist (Antwerp, 1610 – Brussels, 1690) who worked on a smaller scale, never produced works in this genre - in which Snyders was unique at this time - and was extremely celebrated by this date.


  • Title: Still Life with a Wine Cooler
  • Creator Lifespan: 1579 - 1657
  • Creator Nationality: Belgian
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Antwerp
  • Creator Birth Place: Antwerp
  • Date Created: 1610 - 1620
  • Place Part Of: Spain
  • Physical Dimensions: w2300 x h1650 mm (Complete)
  • Painter: Frans Snyders
  • Exhibition: Madrid, Spain
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Fundación Banco Santander, www.fundacionbancosantander.com
  • External Link: Fundación Banco Santander
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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