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Fyt, Jan

Antwerp, 1611 - Antwerp, 1661

He began painting under the guidance of Hans van den Berch, of whom he became a pupil around 1621. His great master, however, would be Frans Snyders. He attained the rank of master of the painters’ Guild of Saint Luke in Antwerp around 1629–1630, although he continued to work for Snyders for some time. In 1633–1634, he was in Paris, and later in Italy. He visited Naples, Florence and Genoa. Some data sources suggest he even travelled to Spain. He returned to his hometown in 1641, where he was admitted into the select group of Romanists. This group was an influential association with exclusive admission for those who had known the city of Rome. He collaborated on numerous occasions with artists including Erasmus Quellinus, Jan Peeters and Jan Brueghel. His style is based on that of Snyders, some of these works by his hand being confused with those of the latter, although his paintings are notable for their characteristic general colour scheme, in contrast to his master’s taste for local colour. Fyt’s colouring is based on browns, greens and greys. This colouring may be influenced by his visits to Paris and Italy. The selection of subject matter also distances him from Snyders, since Fyt prefers more concentrated compositions with motifs always placed in an asymmetrical manner, within a hierarchy inwards and outwards from the main plane. The contrasts of light and shadow that suffuse the elements depicted contribute to endowing them with greater plasticity and dynamism, as does the inclusion of vertical elements, where crossbows, rifles, stones and antique sculpture can be perceived. His still lifes are often situated in an outdoor setting, where the appearance of trees in the background and hunting dogs guarding their prey are frequent. His hunting scenes are also common, based on those of Snyders, as well as pen scenes. The paintings under his authorship in the Museo del Prado encompass all the capabilities of the painter´s artistic creation. The high quantity of his works lies in the aristocratic and princely predilection of his paintings. In the 17th century, some collectors, including the Marquess of Carpio and the Count of Monterrey, already owned works by Jan Fyt. Nevertheless, it would not be until the 18th century, with Philip V, King of Spain and Isabella Farnese, when most of his paintings in the Museo del Prado would be incorporated into the royal collection. Thest of them were donated to this collection in 1889 from that of the Duchess of Pastrana, an imitation of the aristocratic collections that had endorsed the appreciation of Jan Fyt’s oeuvre in previous centuries. He also achieved great mastery in the depiction of flowers, above all through the chromatic contrasts between the flowers and the ochre tones of their surrounding settings. In addition to canvases, Fyt is renowned for a large collection of drawings and engravings, in which he used the same characteristics and manner as in his paintings. He had a great influence on the still-life painting of later years, particularly through his pupils Peeter Boel and David de Conick (Pérez Preciado, J. J. in: E.M.N.P., Madrid, 2006).

Artworks (11)

Liebres perseguidas por perros
Oil on canvas, XVII century
Fyt, Jan
Ánades y gallinas de agua
Oil on canvas, XVII century
Fyt, Jan
Riña de gallos
Oil on canvas, XVII century
Fyt, Jan
Un pavo real, un guacamayo y otras aves (Alegoría de la Música)
Oil on canvas, XVII century
Fyt, Jan (Attributed to)
Milanos y cercetas
Oil on canvas, XVII century
Fyt, Jan (Attributed to)
Cacería de zorros por perros
Oil on canvas, XVII century
Fyt, Jan (Attributed to)
Cacería de una cierva por perros
Oil on unlined canvas, XVII century
Fyt, Jan
Dead Game with a Dog
Oil on canvas, 1649
Fyt, Jan
Ánades y gallinas de agua
Oil on canvas, Second half of the XVII century
Fyt, Jan
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