Jan Fyt (1611-1661, Flemish)

Jan Fyt or Johannes Fijt (1611-1661, Flemish) was a Baroque painter who is considered one of the leading painters of animals in the 17th century along with Frans Snyders, with whom he trained. Born in Antwerp into the wealthy merchant class, in 1630 he became a master of the Antwerp Guild of St. Luke.  From 1633-1641 Fyt travelled Europe joining a group of artists in Rome. After his return to Antwerp in 1641, he established his own studio where he worked for the rest of his life. Unlike most artists, Fyt was highly successful and became a rich man.

Fyt’s work concentrates on still-lifes of hunting, game and of animals. His paintings of flowers and fruit are exceptional, but quite rare. During his lifetime Fyt produced approximately 280 works which were popular during his own time and are still highly sought after today.

Fyt’s paintings differ in style from Frans Snyders’ even though they center on the same compositions of hunting and dead game. Fyt was a master at rendering details, and his works are much more delicate than those of Snyders’.  Fyt was the first artist to place dead game in the outdoors instead of inside in a kitchen.

The cats depicted in Fyt’s works are sneaky scavengers trying to steal game, and are often caught in battles with dogs that are trying to protect the prized kill for their masters.  Be sure to look closely for the cats that are sometimes hard to see. 

 

A Cat Stalking Dead Songbirds on a Ledge, Jan Fyt

A Cat Stalking Dead Songbirds on a Ledge

 

 

Fish, Oysters, a Crab and a Lobster with cats, Jan Fyt

Fish, Oysters, a Crab and a Lobster with Cats

 

 

Jan Fyt (Antwerp 1611 - Antwerp 1661), Still Life with Birds and Fruit, and a Cat

Still Life with Birds and Fruit, and a Cat

 

 

Jan Fyt (Joannes Fijt) - A hare, pigeons and other game with a cat

A Hare, Pigeons and other game with a Cat

 

 

Jan Fyt Cat and Dead Game

Cat and Dead Game

 

 

Jan FYT Chat convoitant du gibier,1661

Chat convoitant du gibier, 1661

 

 

Jan Fyt Dog and Cat

Dog and Cat Fighting over Dead Game

 

 

Jan Fyt Game and Hunting Gear discovered by a cat, 1640

Game and Hunting Gear discovered by a cat, 1640

 

 

Jan Fyt Mallard, Bullfinch, Partridges and other Birds in a Wicker Basket with Spaniel and Cat

Mallard, Bullfinch, Partridges and other Birds in a Wicker Basket with Spaniel and Cat

 

 

Jan Fyt Venison and Basket of Grapes Watched by a Cat 1650s

Venison and Basket of Grapes Watched by a Cat 1650s

 

 

Jan Fyt Still life with birds and cats

Still life with birds and cats

 

 

Jan Fyt, Cat Stealing Dead Birds

Cat Stealing Dead Birds

 

 

Jan Fyt, Gamepiece with a Hare and Various other Birds and a Cat approaching from right.

Game piece with a Hare and Various other Birds and a Cat approaching from right.

 

 

Still life with Game, by Jan Fyt, 1640 - 1655, 17th century

Still life with Game

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