Snyders, the son of a tavern-keeper, trained under Pieter Brueghel the Younger and joined the Guild in Antwerp as a master in 1602. He was also associated with Jan I Brueghel (q.v.), who gave Snyders a letter of introduction to Cardinal Federigo Borromeo in Milan, where the young artist spent some time during a tour of Italy. He was back in Antwerp by 1609, when he married, and in around 1613 he probably began working with Rubens (q.v.) in one of the most celebrated artistic partnerships of the century. Snyders often painted animals or still-lives in Rubens’s religious and mythological pictures, but he also executed whole paintings to Rubens’s designs; and he also collaborated with other artists, including Anthony Van Dyck and Lucas van Uden (q.v.).
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