Still Life with Crops (Allegory of the Earth?)

Frans Snyders1610

Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe

Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe
Karlsruhe, Germany

The foundations of the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe collection were laid by the House of Baden. The House of Baden laid the foundation for the collection of the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe. They ruled the state of Baden first as margraves and later as grand dukes.

Margrave Hermann of Baden (1628-1691) also developed into an ardent art connoisseur, and his influence was decisive in the present profile of the Staatliche Kunsthalle collection. He was a passionate man, who had gained merit in the battles against Louis XIV's troops and was later entrusted with diplomatic missions. Approximately 20 works found in the Kunsthalle today can be traced back to the estate of this bachelor, who preferred the paintings of his contemporaries, in particular those of the powerful Dutch Baroque.

The Kunsthalle has Hermann von Baden to thank for such works as Jacob Jordaen's "Miracle of Moses", which the artist created around 1618/1620, at the age of 25, and the "Still Life with Field Crops - Allegory of the Earth", by Frans Snyders, a painting that illustrates the fertility of nature in an abundant autumnal tableau. There is a still unproven hypothesis that the couple harvesting crops in the background was painted by Rubens, who perhaps owned the work himself for some period of time.

Frans Snyders' (1579 -1657) works present a reality that is intense and vigorous. The artist's vitally dynamic painting methods underscored this emphatic view of the world. His opulent early "Still Life with Field Crops" is an homage to the fertility of nature, possibly with a special regional focus.

Born in Antwerp in 1579, Snyders was a student of Pieter Brueghel the Younger. After several years in Rome and Milan, he returned to Antwerp in 1609, where he sometimes worked with Rubens. In Snyders' "Still Life with Kitchen Utensils and Food" and the "Still Life with Flowers, Fruit, a Boiled Lobster, and Dead Birds" (c. 1630), which is attributed to him, the artist's more mature style can be seen.


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