Meat and fish, fruit, vegetables, seafood and an embossed bronze pan with two chicks perched on the rim and flapping their wings can be seen on a table covered with a red tablecloth; a boar’s head is outlined in the background. In the bottom opposite corner two animals, a dog and a cat, are fighting over some food, while a servant stands passively at the left.
The accentuated diagonal forms, in apparent disorder, and the basket of rabbits in the foreground are features of the influence that Rubens exerted over his followers and disciples of the Antwerp school. The dead fallow deer and the white swan are reminiscent of motifs by Snyders.
We believe that this painting was created by Paul de Vos, a disciple of Snyders and a specialist in animal and still life painting. His receptiveness to the master explains the continuous critics’ confusion over a lot of works.
Paul de Vos evolved from an initial style similar to that of Snyders, with solid forms and compact execution, to a maturity in his personal style, rich in atmospheric qualities and fluid design which, in terms of aesthetic aspects, surpassed even that of the master. The painting studied here is a hitherto-unknown work, that combines high quality, beautiful execution and brilliant colouring.