Still Life with Fruit and Vegetables

Frans Snyders (Flemish, 1579-1657)
Oil on canvas 
68-1/4 x 101 in. (173.4 x 256.5 cm) 
Credit Line:
The Norton Simon Foundation 
Accession Number:
© The Norton Simon Foundation 
On View

Frans Snyders, a master of the Flemish Baroque still life, is renowned for his bold brushwork and monumental compositions. One of the themes of this painting, which likely depicts the larder of a fine house, is that of abundance—particularly as the idea relates to productivity and prosperity. Our first impression may be of a chaotic layering of produce—the fruits and vegetables on the table, in a bowl or basket, or on the ground. Closer inspection shows, however, in a manner that would be apparent to a 17th-century spectator, that the produce is arranged in a hierarchy reflecting value and rarity. Root vegetables are picturesquely arranged on the ground, whereas highly prized peas and asparagus are placed in the basket at right.

In this collaboration, Snyders painted the still-life elements, and his brother-in-law, the portrait painter Cornelis de Vos, painted the figures. The interaction of the boy and the woman through touch and gaze and the inclusion of live animals enhances the sense of animation. The painting certainly resonates with allusions to all five senses.

Prior to becoming part of the Norton Simon collections, this painting was one of four large market and larder scenes painted by Snyders and installed in the state dining room of the dukes of Newcastle at their estate in Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire.


possibly painted for Antoine Triest (1576-1657), Bishop of Bruges and later Ghent.
possibly Goldsmith”s Hall, Brussels until sold to picture dealer who took them to England by 1771.
Henry Fiennes Pelham Clinton (1720-1794), second duke of Newcastle-under-Lyme, 9th earl of Lincoln, Clumber Park, Worksop, Nottinghamshire, before 1794, by inheritance to his son;
Thomas Pelham Clinton (d. 1795), 3rd duke of Newcastle-under-Lyme, 10th earl of Lincoln, Clumer Park, Worksop, Nottinghamshire, by inheritance to his son;
Henry Pelham Pelham Clinton (1795-1851), 4th duke of Newcastle-under-Lyme, 11th earl of Lincoln, Clumber Park, Worksop, Nottinghamshire, by inheritance to his son;
Henry Pelham, 5th duke of Newcastle-under-Lyme, 12th earl of Lincoln, Clumber Park, Worksop, Nottinghamshire, by descent to;
Henry Pelham Archibald Douglas Pelham-Clinton (1864-1928), 7th duke of Newcastle, 14th earl of Lincoln, by inheritance to his nephew;
Henry Edward Hugh Pelham-Clinton-Hope, 9th duke of Newcastle, the earl of Lincoln (Christie's, London, 4 June 1937, lot 103), to;
[Polak or Pollak?].
Sir Harry Oakes (1874-1943), by descent to his wife;
Eunice, Lady Oakes, London/Oak Hall, Niagra Falls, Ontario Canada/Nassau Bahamas (Christies, Lycett Green, South Africa, 29 June 1973, lot 100, to);
[Thomas Agnew and Sons, Ltd., London, to;]
The Norton Simon Foundation.

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