This is an unusually large and grand market scene by Peter Snijers, and its size and irregular shape suggest that it was very probably a specific private commission. The sympathetic and detailed portrayals of the merchant and his family certainly have the strong feel of a portrait, but if so their identities are now lost to us. Snijers made similar use of such groups in perhaps his finest works, the series of the Months of the Year painted in 1727 and which remained in his own collection. Two of these, those depicting the months of April and May are now kept in Brussels, Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts (inv. nos. 6810-11) and January and July are now in Antwerp, Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten (inv. nos. 5103-04). Another two, those for March and December, were sold, New York, Christie's, 29 January 1998, lot 3. The six paintings are all on canvas, but are of smaller format than the present picture, measuring 84 by 68 cm. It has been suggested that the figure on the extreme right of the composition may represent a self-portrait of the artist.
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