Art Collections Online

The Poulterer's Shop

SNYDERS, Frans (1569 - 1657)

The Poulterer's Shop

Media: oil on canvas

Size: 188.1 x 152.0 cm

Acquired: 1998; Allocated in lieu of tax; H.M. Government

Accession Number: NMW A 12866

The elderly shopkeeper stares intently at the kitchen maid as she looks through his produce, pointing out what she desires.  In Antwerp at that time such scenes had a veiled erotic content.  The Flemish word for bird, vogel, has phallic associations, while vogelen (to bird) is slang for sexual intercourse.  Snyders specialized in still-life painting, focusing on detailed depictions of birds, vegetables and game.  X-ray photography indicates that the artist originally intended a pure still life dominated by a large hanging carcass of a roe buck. This was subsequently painted out, and the contours of the animal's front legs were transformed into the celery at the bottom left. The figures of the maid and the bearded man were added last, by a painter from Rubens's workshop.

Comments (3)

I've always found this painting absolutely mesmerising
28 November 2020, 23:43
Absolutely mesmerising
Amgueddfa Cymru Amgueddfa Cymru – Museum Wales Staff
22 June 2010, 15:18
Dear Susan, thank you for your comment submitted through the website.

I have sent an email to the address you specified and attached a copy of the x-ray you requested.
Many thanks
Graham Davies
22 June 2010, 15:18
would it be possible to obtain a reproduction of the x-ray photograph showing the roe buck?
I have written a monograph on Snyders (1995; reprint 2006) and was asked by Christie's when the work was to be autctioned my thoughts on the picture. AT that time the x-ray had not been carried out. I am planning a trip to England to view works by Snyders butmy itinerary is not fixed. Unfortuantely I only have about two weeks to carry out my researc. I will be travelling by car, but I may not be able to visit Cardiff on this occasion. I have been there in the past and was so impressed by the museum's holdings; at that time cartoons attributed to Rubens had just entered the collection.
Please advise, and I would be most grateful for any assistance.
Susan Koslow
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