Still Life with Fruit, Wan-Li Porcelain, and Squirrel

Frans Snyders (Flemish, 1579–1657)


56 x 84 cm (22 1/16 x 33 1/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Oil on copper

On View

Leo and Phyllis Beranek Gallery (Gallery 243)





Snyders made a handsome living in Antwerp as a painter of animals, hunting scenes, and still lifes. He also contributed these elements to paintings done by other artists, including Peter Paul Rubens. This exuberant and exceptionally well preserved work is painted on copper, a costly support whose smooth surface was ideal for Snyders’s rich coloristic effects, meticulous brushwork, and masterful evocation of varied surfaces and textures.


Signed and dated lower right: Frans Snyders fecit 1616


Schaumburg-Lippe collection, Germany [see note 1]. December 16, 1929, Régine Chasles and others sale, Galerie Fievez, Brussels, lot 90. 1934, Kunsthaus A.G., Lucerne, Switzerland. By 1956, Edmond Meert, Saint-Nicholas-Waas, Belgium [see note 2]. Deschandau collection, Belgium [see note 3]. 1970, with Edward Speelman, Ltd., London; 1970, sold by Speelman to Robert H. Smith, Arlington, VA [see note 4]; 1993, sold by Smith to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 22, 1993)

[1] The provenance given here (to 1956) is taken from Hella Robels, "Frans Snyders, Stilleben- und Tiermaler, 1579-1657" (Munich, 1989), p. 261, cat. no. 125.

[2] Edith Greindl, "Les peintres flamandes de nature morte au XVIIe siècle" (Brussels, 1956), p. 181, published the painting as in the collection of Edmond Meert, though when he acquired it and when it left his possession have not been established.

[3] According to information provided by Anthony Speelman of Edward Speelman, Ltd. (May 17, 2004). The dates of ownership are not known, nor has it been established whether Speelman acquired the painting directly from this collection.

[4] That the painting was purchased from Speelman in 1970 is information provided by Robert Smith in a letter to Peter C. Sutton of the MFA (July 14, 1993; in MFA curatorial file).

Credit Line

M. and M. Karolik Fund and Frank Brewer Bemis Fund