In the seventeenth century Flemish painters discovered a special genre: the still-life with animals. Already excelling in painting various textures, the Flemish painters also mastered the realistic depiction of animals. Among the best are Roelant Savery, Frans Snijders, Jan Fijt en Paul de Vos.
Hunting and market scenes show wealth and sophistication, other subjects differ in their more existential subject-matter. Earthly paradises recall the far-flung times of predators and their prey. Humans become almost none existent and eventually remain out of sight. The ideal animal kingdom!
The violence, which is inherent to the nature of animals, is not being covered up. On the contrary, it is shown in masterful compositions that express the power of animals and make us feel compassion for them. This is where the struggle for life is apparent, an odyssey of the sublime that even transcends the beauty of animals.