Lot 45
  • 45

Jan Fyt

200,000 - 400,000 USD
212,500 USD
bidding is closed


  • Jan Fyt
  • Fish, oysters, a crab and a lobster with cats, a tub, a copper dish and bucket and baskets at the foot of a draped column, a quay and a castle by the sea beyond
  • signed on the side of the handle of the bucket: .I.FYT. 
  • oil on canvas
  • 60 1/4  by 105 7/8  in.; 153 by 269 cm. 


The Duc d'Arenberg, Paris;
Anonymous sale, New York, Christie's, 11 January 1995, lot 93;
There purchased by the present owner. 


E. Greindl, Les Peintres flamands de nature morte au XVIIe siècle, Sterrebeek 1983, p. 353, cat. no 264 (as unsigned).

Catalogue Note

After Frans Snyders, his teacher, Jan Fyt is the best known and most accomplished painter of gamepieces in the southern Netherlands. His highly distinctive technique, with frenetic nervous brushstrokes, and his freer and more Baroque compositional style differ radically from those of Snyders, perhaps as a result of an Italian journey in the mid-1630s.

Despite his clear mastery in painting fish, this large scale and richly colored composition is a rare foray by Fyt into the sub-genre of fish still lifes. As Fred Meijer notes, Fyt probably selectively produced works for specific patrons whose livelihood was connected to the fish trade. Such a monumental and bountiful canvas would have likely hung in a place of prominence in a private home, most probably a dining room, and indeed its bountiful subject matter would have made a social statement as a symbol of abundance and wealth.1

1. F.G. Meijer in L.M. Helmus et al., Fish. Still lifes by Dutch and Flemish masters 1550-1700, Utrecht 2004, p. 233.