A pupil of Frans Snyders in Antwerp, Jan Fyt continued to assist the master for a few years after he joined the Antwerp guild in 1629. He spent several years in Italy, a period which was to have a longlasting effect on his painting. Back in Antwerp by 1641, Fyt became a prolific and highly regarded painter of hunting scenes and still lifes of dead game. While indebted to the manner of Snyders, these gamepieces were filtered through Fyt’s own experiences in Italy, with more earthen tones and a bravura handling of the brush. His work tended to be smaller in scale and more intimate in mood than the often grandiose compositions of Snyders, while he also made popular the theme of a still life of game set in a landscape. Apart from a few years in Paris and Rome in the 1630’s Fyt seems to have worked for most of his entire career in his native city of Antwerp. He enjoyed considerable foreign patronage, however, with in particular a large number of Spanish clients. He was also an occasional etcher, and in 1642 published a series of eight etchings of dogs at rest and at play, which he dedicated to Carlo Guasco, the Marqués de Solerio.
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