Susan Koslow

Frans Snyders's "Market Scenes" in The Hermitage, St Petersburg

Keywords: Frans Snyders, Still Life, Markets, Antwerp, The Hermitage, Van Ophem, Noble Estate, Walpole, Spanish Netherlands, Twelve Years Truce, Archdukes Albert and Isabella, Scheldt

The following text is excerpted from the English edition of my monograph Frans Snyders. The Noble Estate. Seventeenth-Century Still-Life and Animal Painting in the Spanish Netherlands (Antwerp: Fonds Mercator Paribas, 1995, pp.109--42) (also published in French and Dutch). The set of four scenes (Fish, Game, Fruit, and Produce Markets) was painted for Jacques van Ophem, around 1618, for his mansion in Brussels.

For a complete account of the Markets see Susan Kolsow, Frans Snyders: The Noble Estate. Seventeenth-Century Still-Life and Animal Painting in the Southern Netherlands, foreward Walter A. Liedtke (Antwerp: Fonds Mercator, 1995), 109—141 (also published in Dutch and French). Reprinted 2006, Fonds Mercator and Amsterdam University Press.

Many of the animals we have considered also appear in Snyders's masterpieces of this period, the Markets in St. Petersburg, a set of four pictures consisting of a Game Market, a Fish Market, a Vegetable Market, and a Fruit Market (Figs. 137--140) . (120) All four canvases, which measure more than six and a half feet high by just over eleven feet long (208 x 343 cm), are signed "F. Snyders fecit," but none is dated. These pictures are more ambitious than any previous works by Sndyers, or, for that matter, by any other still-life specialist. Although single canvases by Snyders approach the size of individual pieces in the set, the dimensions of the ensemble are unprecedented. This is the largest surviving still-life set, and possibly the largest ever painted. The Fruit Market and the Fish Market were especially popular; for more than a decade Snyders produced replicas and variants after them, and contemporary painters were inspired by them as well. No other still lifes by Snyders were as influential. They mark the high point as well as the  conclusion of the tradition of market pictures begun by Aertsen and Beuckelaer and  carried on by Vicenzo Campi and the Van Valckenborch brothers.

The Markets  were purchased by Catherine the Great from Robert Walpole's heir, who sold the famous picture collection at Houghton Hall to redeem gambling debts and other encumbrances. It has been customary to identify Antoine Triest (1576-1657) as the original owner of the four Markets and to date them to Triest's tenure as bishop of Bruges (1617-1621) ever since these claims were made in Michel's biography of Rubens, published in 1771. (121) Michel also reported that the Markets had embellished the goldsmith's hall in Brussels--he did not explain how the goldsmiths acquired the canvases from Triest-- and that the deans of the guild sold the Markets to a picture dealer who renegotiated them in London for triple the price he had paid for them. Walpole is not named as the new owner, but clearly Michel was aware that the paintings had been moved  from the continent to England. In light of recently discovered evidence--two letters written by John Macky and an inventory--this provenance must be rejected and a new history given for the pictures. The Scotsman John Macky (?-1726) (122) acted as a secret agent in Brussels for Robert Walpole (Fig. 135), George I's first lord of the treasury and chancellor of the exchequer. (123) In a letter (Fig. 136) addressed to Walpole on February 5, 1724, Macky refers to  the Markets  already in the possession of Walpole:

Right Honorable Sir                   Bruxelles. Febry 5th ns 1724

I saw at Mechlin a large picture of Sneyder composed out of your four Markets and finely disposed which will serve for a chimneypiece to the room where you hang the others I can have it for near thirty pounds and its of the same Master.

In one of your letters to Mr. Jaupain you seem to doubt the figures in the Markets to be of Rubens, but I can prove by the Journals of the family of Vallegas, that the marquis took both Rubens and Snayders into his house in the reigne of phillip the third where they jointly painted these Markets and they never were out of that room till the death of the Comte St pierre 130 year after

I am still tormented about the little book of Miniature which is reckoned one of the greatest curiosities in the Country

I beg your pardon for troubling you with such trifles in the midst of your great affairs and am with zeal and respect

Most Devoted J. Macky (124)

Macky wrote the second letter (Fig. 111), dated April 28, 1724, and also addressed from Brussels, for his epistolary travel guide, A Journey Through the Austrian Netherlands,  published in 1725.  Primarily interested in art as a commodity, Macky rarely refers to specific works. The fact, therefore, that he mentions the Markets in the Brussels's letter is noteworthy. Evidently, he wished to advertise Walpole's possession of the pictures and to allude to Sir Robert's desire to be known as a great collector. He also wanted to point indirectly to the part he played in the acquisition of the Markets. (125)

"The Vallegas, Dukes de St. Pierre had in their Family for 132 years, four fine Pictures of the Markets of Brussels, done by Rubens and Snyder, which cost them at first hand, 40000 Florins, and were the Ornament of this City. The French King offer'd great sums of Money for them, but they are now gone to England, and in the possession of the Right H'onourable Robert Walpole, Esq; Minister of State." (126)

From these letters we learn that Macky, on behalf of Robert Walpole, purchased the Markets in Brussels, probably in 1723, from the De Villegas family.  Quite likely it was Jacques-Ferdinand de Villegas, baron of Hovorst and seigneur of Bouchout, Viersel, and Werster, who sold them before his death on November 27, 1723. (127) As the eldest son of Marie-Isabelle van Ophem, he had inherited the imposing hôtel Van Ophem on the rue Neuve with its furnishings and paintings. 

An entry (Fig. 141) in the inventory of the hôtel's contents written by the notary Jean Dors on March 29, 1707, about a month before Marie-Isabelle's death on May 9, 1707, proves that the Markets were in this dwelling:

"Four paintings, about 8 or 9 feet high and 14 or 15 feet wide, more or less, painted by Rubens and Snyders. The first represents a man with all kinds of game and poultry, with a dog and a cat. The second represents two women with all kinds of fruit. The third represents two women and a boy with all kinds of vegetables and the fourth represents two men with many different kinds of fish." (128)

Installed in a sizable second-floor chamber, the pictures were hung either on one wall in the sequence indicated by the inventory or they were arranged on three walls, the Fruit Market and the Vegetable Market together on the wall facing three windows and the Game Market and the Fish Market on the end walls opposite one another (Figs. 142a, 142b). (129)

Marie-Isabelle did not acquire the property from her husband Paul-Melchior de Villegas, as we might surmise from Macky's statement, but rather from her father, Jacques van Ophem (Fig. 143), whom I identify here as Snyders's patron. (130)

In the seventeenth century, Jacques van Ophem exercised considerable influence through the positions he held in the government of the archdukes, but he is all but forgotten today, and he is not even included in the Belgian Biographie Nationale. (131) He descends from an old Brussels family whose name originates from the hof t' Ophem, a manor located in Brusseghem. By the end of the thirteenth century, this family, like other Brabantine gentry, moved to Brussels to build a fortune in manufacture, in commerce and in public service. (132) In the fourteenth century, Jan van Ophem was elected chief magistrate (amman) of Brussels, and his son served as deputy burgomaster (schepen). In the following century, Cornelis van Ophem was elected dean of the cloth guild, the most influential trade in Brussels. The family may have suffered a reversal of fortune in the sixteenth century, because, in 1535, Machiel van Ophem, Jacques van Ophem's grandfather, sold the family's manor to Arnoud de Backere, magistrate of Brussels. In the same year, however, Machiel became a member of the Serhuygh's lignage, which indicates that he was still active in the city's oligarchy. Little is known about Jacques's father, Charles van Ophem, except that he was the youngest of four sons and married a Venetian woman, Barbara Bernardi.

Jacques van Ophem's early years are obscure. Neither his birth date nor the school he attended are known. In 1603, he was admitted to the Roodenbeek lignage, one of the seven oligarchic "families" of Brussels from which municipal officials, such as the burgomaster, were slected by the reigning duke. (133) However, Jacques van Ophem did not choose a career in muncipal administration; rather, he tied his advancement to the archducal government. The first position he held was greffier extraordinaire, or registrar, in the chambre des comptes at Lille. (134) He took the oath of office in Brussels, in 1602, and retained the position until 1613, when he resigned; however, he  never fulfilled the duties himself, because substitutes are named for him during these years. Shortly after he was appointed greffier, he obtained a considerably more lucrative position. Between 1606 and 1611, Van Ophem is identified as receveur des confiscations au quartier d'Oost Flandre (receiver of confiscations in the quarter of East Flanders). (135) This office authorized him to seize goods in cases where the accused was charged with various kinds of wrongdoing arising from the civil war, such as sedition, conspiracy, revolt and heresy. In the exercise of his duties, Jacques van Ophem could demonstrate his fidelity to Spain and to the archdukes, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, he could enrich himself and enhance his prospects in the government. Indeed, this seems to have been the case, since from this appointment Jacques van Ophem advanced, in 1610, to the receiver's position at Antwerp, where he held the titles "receiver of licenses and passports," and "receiver of licenses and confiscations" (receveur des licentes et passeports à Anvers; receveur des licentes et des confiscations à Anvers). (136)  In these capacities, Van Ophem issued shipping permits, seized items entering or leaving the port illegally, and he collected import and export duties on all merchandise passing through Antwerp, the main customs bureau for the Spanish Netherlands. (137)

Although customs duties had been in force before the revolt in the Netherlands, the conflict gave rise to an elaborate system, consisting of licenses and passports, to regulate trade and to raise revenue. (138) In 1589, the government in Brussels issued an ordinance that effectively distinguished between the two types of duties. Whereas licenses were issued for unrestricted merchandise, passports had to be obtained for banned goods that could aid the enemy, such as arms, munitions, and horses. Until 1648, this system remained in force. While long-lived, its effectiveness fluctuated. In 1600, following a trade embargo against the northern provinces, licenses and passports were not issued for the duration of the year. Subsequently, however, their sale resumed, and during the Twelve Years Truce they generated considerable income, but after 1621 their importance declined.

Jacques van Ophem was receiver at Antwerp from August 4, 1610 until January 31, 1615. His term coincided with the dramatic rise in customs' revenue, which reached a high in 1616, when it contributed almost 31% of the government's total receipts. (139) Evidently, Jacques van Ophem prospered during this period as well. Apparently his gain was so great that after five years he obtained an even more prestigious position in the domain's fiscal administration. On October 1, 1614, Van Ophem was appointed receveur général des domaines du roi au quartier de Bruxelles (receiver general of the king's domain in the quarter of Brussels). Until his death in 1647, Jacques van Ophem occupied this office. Concurrently, he held the titles receveur des chablis de la forêt de Soignes (receiver of windfalls from the Soignes forest) and receveur des ouvrages de la cour (receiver of court works). (140) Because the duties of the last-named position overlapped those of the lieutenant contrôleur des ouvrages, the chambre des comptes stepped in, in 1625, proabably after conflicts developed, and defined the responsibilities of each office. (141) In addition to these positions, Van Ophem was named conseiller et commis des domaines et finances du roy aux Pays-Bas (councillor and clerk of the king's domain and finances in the Netherlands). (142)

Jacques van Ophem married two times. With his first wife Joanne Christina Vermeeren he had two children, Jacques and Constance, who did not survive childhood. His second wife, Elizabeth Vits (Vitz), was the mother of Marie-Isabelle van Ophem, his only heir. (143) Members of both families held high-level government offices. The career of Herman Vermeeren, the father of Van Ophem's first wife was centered at the court in Brussels, where he was premier tapissier and major garde du parc. For his services he was ennobled in 1613. The Vits family was active both in the government of the municipality of Brussels and in the Habsburg administration. (144) The grandfather of Elizabeth Vits, Corneille Vits, had been receveur de la ville de Bruxelles in the sixteenth century, her father conseiller et procureur générale de Brabant in the first half of the seventeenth century, and her brothers, Jacques and Paul, were ranking officials of the domain later in the century. The date of Jacques van Ophem's second union has not been established, but it probably occurred rather late, since Marie-Isabelle was born in 1631, and she did not marry until 1655, eight years after her father's death. Her husband, Paul-Melchior de Villegas (1628-1677), assumed one of the positions vacated by his father-in-law, that is, conseiller et commis des domaines et finances du Roy aux Pays-Bas.

The discovery that Snyders painted the Markets for Jacques van Ophem is of the greatest importance, since it illuminates the motives underlying the commission and clarifies their historical importance. Neither of these cardinal issues had been previously addressed. Although Antoine Triest was known as a patron of the arts, no one observed that it was implausible for him to have expended the monies of his first ecclesiastical position on a spectacular set of secular pictures, rather than on altarpieces. Although the contract for the commission has not been located, nevertheless Van Ophem's motives and the circumstances of the commission can be reconstructed by examining three interconnected issues: the archdukes's political and economic policies during The Twelve Years Truce; the specific duties of the office of receiver general; and Van Ophem's social ambitions.

We begin with the patron himself. Born into the haute bourgeoisie, Van Ophem, like so many of his contemporaries, aspired to the nobility, an ambition he fulfilled when he received his knighthood, by letters patent, from Philip IV on August 12, 1625. (145) A year later, almost to the day, August 1, 1626, he purchased the seigneury of Neder and Over-Heembeek, located to the north of Brussels on the river Senne, with high, middle and low justice (Fig. 144 ). (146) The seigneury was a major source of income. Besides produce, which could be sold in nearby Brussels, stone was quarried there as well. Moreover, it was also a socially prestigious possession, since the villages of Heembeek were the oldest in the region surrounding Brussels, dating to the twelfth century. Originally they had belonged to the Aa, one of the most important Brabantine noble families, once chatelains of Brussels. Jacques van Ophem augmented his landholdings in 1633, with the seigneury and chateau of Aa in Anderlecht (the Aa family derived its name from this town) and the franchise of Luttre in Hainaut. These were purchased from the estate of the rebel René de Renesse, count of Warfusée and chef des finances du roi d'Espagne aux Pays-Bas, after it was confiscated by the crown. (147) Jacques van Ophem never entered the ranks of the high nobility, an advancement the Supreme Council of Flanders would have refused had he applied, as happened in the case of Van Ophem's colleague Francois I de Kinschot. The grounds given for rejecting the latter's application were that the public frowned upon compensating officials with titles of [high] nobility, because, once elevated, they comported themselves ostentatiously, caused social and political disruption and evoked hostility on the part of noblemen of birth. (148) The Council, however, allowed the elevation of sons of officials. Since Van Ophem's heir was female, she could not receive this distinction herself, but through her husband's preferment in 1665, she became a baroness.

Jacques van Ophem is representative of a new social class in the Spanish Netherlands, having its counterpart in the French "nobles hommes" and "noblesse de robe" and the English gentry. (149) According to Henri Pirenne, this class was composed of men "whose ambition, above all else, was to crown their career with a noble title." (150) They were drawn from the haute bourgeoisie, from families that had amassed great fortunes in business, and were trained in jurisprudence in preparation  for governmental service, rather than for a career in trade. They were well-educated in the humanities, conversant with the classics and skilled writers themselves. Wealth permitted them to purchase lucrative offices and, in turn, their offices brought them still greater fortunes. These men acquired seigneuries, the titles attached to the lands, and were ennobled by  the king. Shortly before 1640 it was said that "more nobles were made in just one year than formerly in a hundred" in the Spanish Netherlands. (151) Obviously, there was bound to be friction between the new nobility and the old, since the newcomers owed their status to the king, whereas the noblesse d'épee or gentilshommes de race, nobles by birth, were independent, and looked down upon all commoners (roturiers), among whom they counted the parvenus nobility. Tension arose, also, over the source of wealth sustaining the noble way of life. The gentilhomme traditionally resided on his estate and lived off its income, while the new nobility had other sources of wealth and lived in cities as well as on their domain. To preserve the traditional character of the nobility regulations were promulgated in 1664, setting forth land revenues required for each title of the high nobility. A baron needed at least 6,000 florins, a count and a marquis 12,000 florins, and  a duke 24,000 florins. (152) The ordinance further stipulated that if the rural properties were sold, the nobleman's title would be revoked. The upwardly mobile class composed of extremely wealthy men, occupying positions of influence and power in government and longing to be members of that small privileged class, the high nobility, were probably among Snyders's best clients and it is likely that many of Snyders's largest pictures were destined for the city residences of men like Jacques van Ophem. His hôtel, the ambient in which the Markets were seen, expresses his personal ambition as well as the aspirations of the new social class to which he belonged.

Jacques van Ophem built his mansion, the hôtel van Ophem (Figs. 145) on the rue Neuve, where the department store Inno stands today, on a lot purchased in 1618 for 4,020 florins from Hubert Coronel, the master mason of the archdukes. (153) The lot extended from the rue Neuve, where it had a frontage of 139 feet (42 meters), back to the rue Damier, which parallels the rue Neuve. 

The quarter chosen by Van Ophem for his residence was being developed by the entrepreneur Jérome de Meestere, who was opening up streets between the rue Fossé-aux-Loups and the ramparts in the direction of the present Gare du Nord. This area mainly consisted of orchards and gardens, where cabbages and other kitchen vegetables were cultivated. The rue Neuve, or the Nieuwe-Lieve-Vrouwe straete, as it was called originally, was laid out in 1617. It was the most important new artery in this area. In the contract signed with the city, De Meestere was obliged to pave the streets, but, to offset costs, he had the right to collect a tax, the pontpenning, for twenty years. Within eight years after acquiring real estate on the new streets the owner had to erect a structure, a ruling Jacques van Ophem followed. The three-story hôtel Van Ophem built had an attic with three gables and was oriented along the rue Neuve. It faced the street known as le Pont-Neuf, which was also a new thoroughfare, and the small chapel known as the Chapelle des Jardins-aux-Choux, later called the Finisterre Church. (154) On the garden side of the hôtel a high tower was erected, which was an overt sign of Van Ophem's social ambitions. (155) From it, he could look eastwards and view the activities at the wharf, since no structures obscured the view, and to the south he could see beyond the Mint and survey the Grande Place, where his official administrative office was located. The facade of the hôtel, which consisted of two stories and an attic with three gables, underwent renovations in the eighteenth century, but was restored in the 1840s to its original appearance. According to the Moniteur Belge of July 22, 1842, Rubens was responsible for the original design. When the hôtel was demolished in 1908 to make way for the department store Magasins Tietz, the portal was saved and relocated to the Académie des beaux-arts, rue du Midi.

An estate inventory of 1707 may well record the original layout of the interior. Upon entering the house there were rooms to the left and right facing onto the street. (156) Access to a hall and the great staircase was from the room on the right; the hall also led to the rear chamber--identified in the inventory as a dining room--which looked out over the court or garden. The second floor was reached from the great staircase. There, numerous pictures decorated the bovencamer, including a St Cecilia Jacques van Ophem had received as a gift from Rubens's heirs (Fig. 146). (157) The bovencamer was adjacent to the chamber in which the Markets were installed. Besides the pictures by Snyders, three others decorated the room; two landscapes were used as overdoors: the placement of the third, a seascape, is not indicated. After exiting the Markets's chamber one proceeded through the middelcamer and the derde camer. Additional rooms are mentioned in inventories made on subsequent dates, including a chapel and the chamber of the baroness.

In the later years of Marie-Isabelle van Ophem's life, Rubens's grandson, Jean-Nicolas Rubens, also receveur général des domaines au quartier de Bruxelles rented the hôtel. The building's association with the office of receveur, underscored by the presence of the Markets, probably made the property especially desirable for the younger Rubens. After the death of Marie-Isabelle van Ophem in 1707, her heirs asked Rubens to vacate the premises so that the influential Utrecht nobleman and English peer Baron Frédéric-Adrien van Reede de Renswoude, who was active in the provisional Anglo-Dutch government, could move in. (158) The hôtel remained a landmark, as attested by its appearance on maps of Brussels showing the principal buildings in the city. However, on these maps the hôtel is the only structure that is not identified, suggesting that its status was quasi-official. (159)

The grand scale of Snyders's Markets  signals Jacques van Ophem's pretensions, that very ostentatiousness the Council of Flanders had warned of. (Were its members possibly thinking specifically of the Markets?) As Walter Liedtke observed, "paintings of this size usually hung in the largest room of a very large house," usually a nobleman's premises. (160) In this connection, we should remember that after Archduke Albert declined to purchase Rubens's Wolf and Fox Hunt (ca. 1615) because, it was said, the palace in Brussels could not accomodate the nearly eleven (or twelve) by eighteen-foot canvas, Philip-Charles d'Arenberg, duke of Aerschot, acquired the picture for his princely residence in Brussels. In 1634, the canvas was shipped to Madrid to decorate the duke's quarters in the Spanish city. There can be little doubt, therefore, that Jacques van Ophem was aware of the social implications of commissioning works of this size, and so many of them together. He must have regarded the Markets as instruments both of self-promotion and of political propaganda. The Markets have a public air to them, and evidently, served as a backdrop for important transactions, or at least for gatherings of a governmental, rather than of a domestic nature.

The room where the Markets hung may have hosted festivities, but on a daily basis it probably functioned as the antechamber to Van Ophem's office, where petitioners, clients, officials and other visitors waited before being received. (161) As they milled about, we may imagine that the monumental Markets engaged their attention and invited lively discussion about the various sorts of fish, game and produce as well as about the behavior of the stallkeepers and their clients and the actions of the domestic animals. But while the pictures doubtlessly entertained the audience and even gave ethical and scientific instruction, visitors would have recognized that more serious motives lay at the heart of the commission. On the one hand, they would have understood that the pictures celebrated the benevolence and wisdom of the archdukes by showing the new prosperity their government brought to the Spanish Netherlands, and, on the other hand, they would have realized that Van Ophem was using the Markets to exalt himself by indicating the role he played in the government.

The receiver general of the king's domain in the quarter of Brussels was the duke of Brabant's tax collector for Brussels and its environs. (162) This lucrative position generally was assigned to a member of Brussels's haute bourgoisie, who himself had to be wealthy, in case security had to be raised. The responsibilities of the office were complex and demanding. The receiver general  presided over the Chambre du Tonlieu, a court with twelve judges, which convened in the duke's administrative building, the Broodhuys or Hertogenhuys (maison du Duc), on the Grande Place opposite the Town Hall, to hear cases arising from the collection of domainal revenues.  He supervised the collection of inheritance and property taxes, the care and policing of royal thoroughfares and waterways, and the regulation of watermills. He was also in charge of collecting rents in kind and cens,  that is, annual fixed payments, including cens for the use of food stalls. Although stalls were inheritable-- butchers, for instance, could bequeath, sell or rent them to another member of the butcher's guild--they actually were the property of the duke of Brabant and were among his most lucrative possessions. (163) It is in this context that Van Ophem's choice of the market scene, a genre that was no longer in vogue in the late 1610s, becomes clear. And we now comprehend why Macky and others identified the pictures as the markets of Brussels, even though no Brussels's landmark is represented. Probably the pictures were commissioned at the same time construction began on the hôtel van Ophem, and we may suppose that the set was planned as an integral and ostentatious feature of the residence. According to Macky, the pictures were painted during the reign of Philip III. Thus the canvases must have been completed by 1621, the year the king died. Perhaps the hôtel was completed by this date, too.

Jacques van Ophem made his fortune and rose to power during the Twelve Years Truce. The ensuing peace markedly improved the economic conditions in the southern Netherlands, which the religious disturbances and rebellion against Spain had damaged severely: population increased, taxes were lowered and foreign trade resumed. (164) Older industries revived and the archdukes promoted and subsidized new ones aimed at an international market in keeping with the archdukes's policy of "economic nationalism." (165) Agriculture rallied too; indeed, it flourished in Brabant and Flanders, where local farming practices became the model for rational agronomy. As Geoffrey Parker has stated, a "new 'south Netherlands indentity' was born under the archdukes and above all during the Truce." (166) This identity was fostered by the archdukes who sought to establish a viable state, actually a monarchy, independent of Spain. (167) Although Albert failed to obtain the crown he desired, the archdukes's success as rulers was evident thoughout their lands and is alluded to in the Van Ophem-Markets. It is against this background that Van Ophem's commission must be considered. (168)

It is often asserted that the organizing principle of sets of market scenes, including the Van Ophem-Markets, is the tetrads, such as the elements, the humors, or the seasons, which natural philosophers argued gave order and coherence to the cosmos. Each scene, according to this view, is thus a compendium of interrelated tetradic themes. An example clarifies this point. A fish market is said to intimate the element water, the phlegmatic temperament and the winter season. As early as the eighteenth century, Snyders's Markets were regarded in this light, with Descamps observing in 1753 that they represent the elements; since then his interpretation has gone unchallenged. (169) However, if we examine it more closely, we find that the supposed correlations actually do not exist: any one of three canvases might represent the element earth--the Vegetable Market, the Fruit Market or the Game Market--but air, symbolized by birds, is associated with the Game Market alone and water only with the Fish Market. The fourth element, fire, is absent altogether. The tetradic explanation, therefore, must be set aside insofar as the Van Ophem-Markets are concerned.

A noteworthy aspect of the Markets's program is the prominence accorded the produce markets. Hung side by side, the Fruit Market and the Vegetable Market clearly must have dominated the chamber where the Markets were installed. While the iconography of peace and prosperity contributed to the set's emphasis on agricultural goods, among whose traditional attributes are fruit, vegetables and produce in general, the privileged position assigned these scenes suggests that additional compelling factors were involved as well. The weight given to agricultural produce betokens the primacy of land to the economy of the Spanish Netherlands, and it alludes as well to the social order of the region, where rural property was a seigneurial possession owned largely by the nobility and ecclesiastical institutions. This assertion of local identity implicitly invites comparison with the breakaway United Provinces, where rural holdings and most of the region's capital was mainly in the hands of the bourgeoisie, and where trade, finance and manufacture drove its dynamic economy.

In this connection, it is pertinent to note that between 1594 and 1612, Isaac van Swanenbergh painted seven pictures relating to the manufacture of serge, a worsted wool, in Leyden for the governor's chamber of the city's draper's Guild Hall. (170) Among the surviving paintings, four illustrate various facets of cloth production (Figs.147--150), and two are allegories (Figs. 151, 152) showing how "the new trade" (de Nieuwe Neringhe) brought prosperity to Leyden. As burgomaster and alderman of Leyden, Van Swanenbergh knew intimately the connection between the city's well-being and its chief industry, textile manufacture, which had had a sensational expansion when it was revitalized soon after 1574. (171) New dyeing and weaving techniques resulted in a superior product that captured the European textile market, bringing great financial rewards to Leyden.

We do not know whether Jacques van Ophem had heard about Van Swanenbergh's pictures when he commissioned Snyders to paint the Markets or, if he had, whether the Markets were a response to the Dutch works. The parallel between both series is nevertheless striking. While the pictures in Leyden show that prosperity was brought about by specific local economic conditions, not many years later the Van Ophem-Markets indicated that the regional identity of the Spanish Netherlands depends largely on an agricultural economy. Although the archdukes Albrecht and Isabella do not appear in the Market pictures, the canvases nonetheless allude to their wise governance. As a consequence of their economic policies, the populace has access to an unparalleled choice of foodstuffs, indeed all the varieties of sustenance that the Deity created for man's nourishment. At the same time, the economy generates the income needed to sustain a lawful stable state and to advance its international prospects. Essentially, the Markets  represent the time-honored concept of peace as the origin of prosperity, a theme often figured allegorically in seventeenth-century political imagery. (172)

Preparatory drawings for the Markets have not survived; thus the development of the pictures is difficult to reconstruct. More than likely the commission began with a meeting between Van Ophem and Snyders, who probably were acquainted with each other from the years when Van Ophem lived in Antwerp. At the meeting they must have discussed the project, its content, format, price and the length of time needed for its completion. Snyders may have submitted modelli for Van Ophem's consideration, and together client and painter may have looked over other examples of market scenes, or drawings after them, such as Joachim Beuckelaer's Markets of 1569-70 (Figs. 153, 154), Lucas van Valckenborch's Markets (Figs. 155--157) [currently attributed to Saive, 2007] of around 1590, and the four Markets Jan Baptist Saive painted for Archduke Ernst in 1598. Naturally, iconographic traditions associated with various kinds of markets and with the subject as a whole were discussed as well. At a later meeting approval of the final designs was made.

It has already been pointed out that the theme of peace and prosperity underlies all four market scenes but subtexts are also present, as the Fruit Market and the Vegetable Market reveal. The actions of the female figures in these pictures, showing licit and illicit responses to the abundance surrounding them, are complementary. In the Fruit Market, an elderly woman urges a plate of peaches on a pregnant and married townswoman who thoughtfully examines a fruit, whereas in the Vegetable Market  a pregnant saleswoman recommends restraint to a robust, young farm girl eager to add parsnips to her already overstocked basket. All the vegetables  she has taken, and the parsnips she desires, were considered erotic, because they were supposed to possess aphrodisiac qualities, and because their shape is penile. (173) The idea that the women illustrate is explicit and unambiguous: marriage sanctions sexuality because it is the vital force of procreation, the main purpose of marriage. Outside of matrimony physical love is lust, the gratification of sensual appetite, and generation, if it occurs in these circumstances, is illegitimate and a social burden.


In the seventeenth century, physiologists believed that for a woman to be fruitful sexual fulfillment was required, because only then did the womb's entrance open to receive  seed. (174) In this context, the iconographer Cesare Ripa's commentary on fecundity is apt : "The greatest asset a married woman can have is fecundity, which enables her to produce the fruits that are said to be the purpose of marriage, for God's glory." (175) (Snyders may have made a discreet analogical allusion to this in the Fruit Market, where he shows a peach split open to expose its pit. (176)) The farm girl apparently epitomizes hedonism, since she wants to enjoy carnal pleasure before marriage. She has turned her back on the "cooling" vegetables, lettuce, cabbage and kale, and seeks arousing ones only. Because she is so keen on her new acquisition, the young woman is unaware of the boy snatching her purse, an action intended as an analogy for the loss of virginity, her spiritual treasure. (177) In a similar vein, the horse eating kale indicates her single-minded concern and her lack of control over creaturely passions. Were the young woman attentive to her responsibilities, then the horse would not have the opportunity to consume goods ready for marketing. Also in this regard, the position of the horse vis-a-vis the cart is hardly accidental and probably alludes to the proverb: "putting the cart before the horse." (178) The prominent position of the wheel precisely in the center of the picture suggests that it, too, may have a symbolical meaning. A wheel represents time and impermanence: in connection with the young woman, it hints at her precarious situation and alludes to the short-lived bloom of youth. This notion of the transitory, of beauty and decomposition, is also indicated by the floral bouquet  behind the saleswoman. The inclusion of a bouquet may be dictated as well by the iconography of the subject, as Lucas van Valckenborch's Vegetable Market (Fig. 127) suggests.

The vegetable vendor's stall, where preparations for hauling produce to a distant city takes place, is set up outside a farm's entrance, which in type closely resembles the farm at Bouvingneul, owned by Charles de Croÿ and portrayed in the Croÿ album in Vienna (Fig. 160). (179) While the landscape may depict an actual site, it cannot be identified with Van Ophem's estates, since he acquired them about four years after the Markets were completed. However, the luxuriant mound of cabbages and their prominent display--though a traditional element in market scenes, for instance, in the Market by Lucas van Valckenborch-- may allude to the situation of Jacques van Ophem's mansion directly across the street from the Chapelle des Jardins-aux-Choux (Finisterre Church). This chapel was named for the principal vegetable grown in the area's gardens. Buildings do not localize the Fruit Market, but we surmise it is situated in a city, since the young shopper is a city resident.

The Fish Market is the only picture that depicts structures that are readily identifiable; these are the battlements of Antwerp along the River Scheldt. (180) Although this seems inappropriate, because  the picture set concerns Brussels, it points to a more inclusive program, covering all Brabant and probably the other southern provinces as well; moreover, it recalls the office that Jacques van Ophem held in Antwerp, his residence there and the considerable revenue he raised on behalf of the government in that city. 


Snyders divides produce along class lines. Because fruit gardening is a costly, gentlemanly occupation, it is the upper-class burgher who shows interest in it. Vegetables, on the other hand, traditionally are associated with peasantry, hence, farmworkers deal in greens.

Not only social class, but gender, too, is an organizing principle. The vending of produce is in the hands of women, while the sale of flesh is the business of men. Although this division rests in part on the traditional association of female fertility with the earth, in fact the division existed in reality. Women made up the ranks of fruit-sellers and vegetable vendors, and belonged, respectively, to the guild associations (nations) of Saint-Gilles and Notre-Dame. (181) The stallkeeper in the Game Market is probably a butcher who has the legal right to sell game. As observed earlier, the Brussels's guild energetically protected its hunting privileges, and though the man does not carry a horn or a pouch, his dogs indicate his position, since they are hunting hounds rather than the brutish mongrels found at shambles. The vendor unloads a basket of game birds, and in the Fish Market two fishmongers prepare the catch for sale: a youth pours a bucket of fresh fish into a tub, and a bearded man slices a salmon. Yet, because there are no customers in either the Fish Market or the Game Market, the sexual encounters that ordinarily take place in such pictures are lacking. Thus the act of slicing a salmon, which is a sign of virility when done in the presence of a woman, lacks this connotation. (182) Similarly the game vendor is not proferring the woodcock he holds to a marketer. Hence, there are no specific admonitions regarding chastity and marriage, as in the Fruit and Vegetable Markets. Nevertheless, because tradition associates meat-and fish-market pictures with the concept of voluptas carnis, these  canvases may well have sexual connotations.

The gesture of the game vendor no less than the activity of the fishmonger has carnal allusions. In an early seventeenth-century Kitchen by an unidentified artist, a hunter approaches a young cook and offers her a woodcock as a sign of his amorous intent. (183) The bird's erotic significance apparently derives from the suggestiveness of the Latin name for the bird, ficedula (figpecker), and from the bird's peculiar habits. As indicated earlier, the fig is a fruit connoting sexuality, and it was even compared to the female pudendum. (184) Because it could be snared easily, the woodcock had a reputation for stupidity. For this reason it was likened to a fool--in France, in the sixteenth century, a foolish woman was called a  bécasse--a simpleton, and a dupe, and was used "in reference to capture by some trickery, or as a type of gullibility, or folly." Not surprisingly, therefore, it symbolizes a smitten lover, as Stephen Gosson's 1579 The School of Abuse indicates: "Cupide gets upp a Springe for Wood-cockes which are entangled ere they descrie the line, and caught before they mistruste the snare." (185) Still, the principal impression the Fish and Game Markets make  is not erotic. Nor is symbolic meaning apparent in the Fish Market. The men do not debate the virtue of an action, they merely carry out their respective duties in the fishing trade; their tasks are the provisioning and preparation of food.

Not surprisingly Snyders was inventive with regard to the live animals portrayed in the Markets. He pictures animals previously not represented in market scenes, and when he shows traditional ones, he treats some unconventionally. The horse, for instance, is unique in such a scene, (186) as are the squirrel and the monkey in the Fruit Market. On the other hand, dogs are commonplace; however, the cat generally is found in kitchens, not markets. Its  appearance in the Game and Fish Markets follows its representation in Snyders's 1614  Game Market. In these pictures, the cat's thieving character is exposed, as if to underscore evil's ubiquitousness and, implicitly, the necessity for constant vigilance.

The presence of a dog in the Game Market is not surprising, since traditionally dogs signify carnality, but the way it is pictured does require explanation. Actually, there are two hunting dogs, but it is only the dog depicted in its entirety that is problematic. It stands on its hind legs trying to reach a cat peering through a glazed window set high in the wall. The dog's stance, prominence and size is unexpected, indeed, rather startling, since dogs are ancillary in the market-kitchen genre. Here the animal is as important as  a person, occupying the place of an assistant to the stall-keeper or a shopper. Indeed, comparison with man is inescapable and surely intended. In the seventeenth century, a lively debate focused on issues of animal nature and on animals in relationship to man, in particular whether animals are rational, and on resemblances both physiognomic and physical (see below, chapter 5). These concerns resonate in the figure of the dog, centering on its human stance. According to the well-known assertion of Aristotle, man is "the only erect animal" and "the only animal which has the head up above in the sense in which 'up' is applied to the universe." (187) The irony of the dog's physical likeness to man, on the one hand, and its underlying differences, on the other hand, probably would not have been missed by the audience. The dog, the cat's natural enemy, alerts the game vendor to the feline's presence; however, the alarm is false. (188) Lacking the faculty of judgment, the dog fails to understand that the cat is behind the glass pane and, therefore, is not a danger to the goods on display. Diverted by this uproar the vendor does not notice the escaping poultry or the seizure of a heron by a marauding cat. The dog's alarm has misled him. The woodcock held  by the vendor indicates the man's folly-- and the dog's as well. In conclusion, the picture's program seems to argue the point that reasoned judgment, rather than irrational impulse, is the right basis for human action.

Our discussion so far has focused on the circumstances of the set's commission and on its iconography. Now we turn to an altogether different issue that the Markets raise, namely who painted the figures? Ever since Macky insisted Rubens painted them, following the Van Ophem family tradition, the figures were assigned to a collaborator and not to Snyders himself. (189) Later in the eighteenth century the engraver Richard Earlom gave them to Jan Boeckhorst. Neither attribution is tenable, however. Even though the facture varies somewhat among the figures, for instance, the fishmongers are more loosely painted than the game vendor, who closely resembles the dealer in the Game Market in Chicago, Snyders, without question, conceived the figures and participated in painting them. However, the assistance of a collaborator as yet unidentified, should not be excluded.

Each picture expresses ideas suited to its specific subject, but the underlying idea of peace as the wellspring of prosperity gives the set a thematic unity. Encyclopedic in vision, the Markets exhibit the fullness of creation, the plants and the beasts created for man's use, and, in particular, for his nourishment. Confronted by nature's plenitude, we are asked to chose wisely, appropriating only those provisions conducive to our physical and spiritual well-being, while rejecting the harmful ones. This lesson is set within the framework of commercial imagery, rather than domestic or allegorical subjects, a choice that undoubtedly was made by Jacques van Ophem and not by Snyders. The Markets explicitly emphasize regional riches, the prolific supplies furnished by water and land, and implicitly they commend a policy of peace. As a financial officer in the state's government, Van Ophem knew at first hand the tremendous monetary strain war visited on the Netherlands, and his upbringing as a member of the educated haute bourgeoisie also predisposed him to favor tranquility over strife. (190) But his advocacy of peace was not simply a personal matter, since the policy was the archdukes's  as well. Jacques van Ophem's plea for peace not only voiced his own opinion but it also concurred with the politics of the archdukes. By showing the benefits of peace, Jacques van Ophem both complimented his masters and strengthened his own position in their administration.

The importance of the Markets in Snyders's career cannot be overestimated. The pictures evidently were highly esteemed, as attested by the many subsequent paintings based on them. Reductions were made in the eighteenth century (Figs. 169--172), and full-size copies were painted at least once, possibly in Snyders's workshop. (191) The most influential pictures in the series were the Fruit Market and the Fish Market. The latter was especially important, since it apparently initiated a demand for large-scale Fish Markets, while the former's arrangement of baskets and bowls proved very popular for larders and fruit markets. On occasion, selected motifs from several works were combined in a single picture, as in the Fruit and Vegetable Market (Fig. 176) in Munich. Other canvases related to the Fruit and Vegetable Markets are the Larders in Antwerp (Fig. 174), Dresden (Fig. 175) and Pasadena (Fig. 178), and the Market in the Bowes Museum (Fig. 176). The Kitchen (Fig. 141) in the Frey Collection, dated 1627, the only signed and dated still life from this period, is somewhat more removed [comment: 18 March, 2007: Sotheby's, New York, 1996, 11 January, where Sotheby's read the date as 1617]. The Wheelbarrow (Fig. 177) also belongs to this group. The woman chastising the boy for overturning the wheelbarrow resembles the elderly woman in the Fruit Market and the saleswoman in the Vegetable Market. Cast to the ground along with the goods the child was carting is a pair of scales. The motif, a traditional feature in the iconography of market stalls, is found in many pictures by Snyders, beginning with the Van Ophem-Fruit Market.  However, with one exception, Snyders shows the balance at rest, one pan set in the other. In this same period Snyders developed a preference for showing a woman fingering figs or offering one to her rustic lover. Examples are  The Fig (Fig. 119), the Fruit and Vegetable Market (Fig. 173) in Munich, the Frey Larder (Fig. 178), and the Larder (Fig. 139) in Pasadena. This motif remained in use for many years, surviving into the1640s. 


Snyders is a remarkable painter of fish, perhaps the greatest. Evidently well-versed in the local tradition that began with Beuckelaer, Snyders eclipsed all painters of marine life, including earlier masters and contemporary specialists. The sheer number of diverse fishes, crustaceans, molluscs and aquatic mammals Snyders portrayed is unequalled. No less than 27 fishes and eight lower animals are represented in the Antwerp Fish Market (Fig. 179). (192) Many fish are local, but some are imported, like the small sturgeon, or sterlet, native to central Europe. The table tortoise originates from an even more distant place, South America. Diversity, however, does not account for Snyders's superiority; rather, it is his unique blend of science, color, facture, and drama that sets his work apart. A student of nature, Snyders has precise knowledge of his models and draws them accurately. He expresses his admiration for their irridescent tints and slick scaly bodies with dazzling virtuosity. Creatures are heaped on plain boards and more are strewn on the ground beneath. Some are still alive, while others stiffen as death overtakes them. Arched and twisted bodies, staring eyes and gaping mouths graphically testify to their painful deaths.

Snyders localizes a number of the fish markets in Antwerp, among them the Van Ophem-Fish Market, which depicts the Bakers's Tower, one of the city's medieval battlements on the Scheldt River. Used as a prison in the seventeenth century, the tower marked the site of Antwerp's first fishmarket. Crowned by a conical roof, this crenelated structure  resembles other waterfront landmarks in Antwerp associated with the fishing industry, including the Fisherman's Tower, the tower of the medieval castle the Steen and the towers of the Rookhuis (Fig. 180). Stockfish (dried cod) and herring were processed in the Rookhuis or Drooghuis, the city's  herring staple; the Steen's tower marked the northern end of the fish market; and Antwerp's fishermen met in a chamber reserved for them in the Fishermen's Tower. (193) In the seventeenth century, Antwerp's fishmarket on the wharf consisted of an inner market or Binnenvismarkt of 75 stalls owned by the archdukes, where the sale of salt-water fish took place, and an outer market or Buitenvismarkt reserved for fresh-water fish (Figs. 181, 182). (194) The fishmonger's rule book allowed for the sale of pike and eels in the outer market,  but mussels and  flounder may have been sold there too, since the market also was known as the Mussel Market or the Flounder Market.


The many Fish Markets give the impression that Antwerp was a major fishing port, but according to a study by Gustaaf Asaert, it was not. (195) However, it was the main supplier of fish for the southern Netherlands. There was a great need for fish, especially for the forty days of Lent and for fast days, and throughout the year stock fish and salted herring were dietary mainstays. With the closure of the Scheldt in 1585, fishermen from the rebellious provinces met Antwerp's needs. The northerners brought their catch to Lillo, where it was transferred to south Netherlandish boats specially fitted to keep the fish alive until unloaded at the carrier's destination. But during the Twelve Years Truce, Antwerp's fishermen resumed their activities in the rich fisheries of Zeeland and further north, in Holland. When the Truce came to an end in 1621, Lillo again became a trans-shipment point for fish destined for Antwerp and other southern cities. The exchange was an important source of revenue in the south, since custom duties were charged on both imported and exported items.

Despite veristic elements in the Fish Markets, the pictures are fictional celebrations of the fishmonger's trade. The scenes set in Antwerp, for instance, do not realistically portray the location of the stalls, since characteristic features of the inner and outer markets are not indicated. Also, the merchandise shown is more extensive and varied than it was in reality; moreover, fish from both markets are mixed together on the table. Thus, separate aspects of the fishmonger's trade are brought together in a single picture, which in practice were carried out independent of one another.

The Fish Market that Snyders painted for Van Ophem is of such high quality that it is clear that the artist had already mastered the difficulties associated with the subject in earlier pictures. One of these works is possibly the Fish Market (Figs.184,184a) in the Pushkin Museum. The picture's spatial design, with a "postage-stamp window," recalls early compositions; however, the painterly execution of still-life objects, such as the cookies, the earthenware bowls, the pickle jar, and the fish, resembles Snyders's facture in the 1630s or even later. The sharp, cold light, firm modeling, and polished, glazed surfaces that are associated with Sndyers's pictures around 1613-1614 are not present. Perhaps the discrepancy may be explained by the subject; in general, Snyders paints fish more freely than other motifs to capture their moist appearance. In any case, by 1618 and before 1621, Snyders had become the outstanding painter of fish in Antwerp, maintaining this position throughout his lifetime, as De Bie affirmed in his encomiastic poem on Snyders. (196) More or less contemporary with the Van Ophem-Market are a Fish Market (Fig. 185) in Vienna (197) and a painting of the same subject that is known only from a signed drawing, sold at Sotheby’s in 1977. The picture in Vienna, painted in collaboration with Anthony van Dyck, illustrates a story, whose subject has not yet been identified. That it takes place in Antiquity there can be no doubt, on account of the garments of the principal figures. While "The Calling of St. Matthew" and "The Finding of the Tribute Money" have been suggested as the subject, the picture's narrative action does not correspond to either one. The painting portrays a distinguished  young man accompanied by an older balding companion purchasing a small fish from a fishmonger, while an amused band of gawkers crowds round. The Vienna canvas is dated to Van Dyck's early Antwerp years, that is, either shortly before his move to England, in November 1620, or in the brief period spent in Antwerp between his return from England at the end of February 1621 and his departure for Italy in October 1621. The picture in Vienna was painted around the same time as the Fish Market for Van Ophem; however, its composition and motifs are basically different. This is not the case in the later Fish Markets, which are constructed with motifs selected from earlier pieces. Still, a cuttle fish and two lobsters, one on its back, the other climbing over the mess of fish, are essentially identical in both pictures (Figs. 190,191). Many fish and marine creatures in these paintings repeatedly appear in later pictures, where motifs from both are intermingled. For instance, the table tortoise (Fig. 153) in the Van Ophem-Fish Market recurs in another Fish Market in St. Petersburg (Fig. 189), in a copy of this picture in Antwerp (Fig. 179) and in a Fish Market formerly in the Rothschild Collection. (198) The sea wolf in the Vienna picture (Fig. 156) similarly appears in the other market scenes.  In a Fish Market in Vienna (Fig. 194), painted around 1630, motifs from the Van Ophem-Market are depicted. While repetition is typical in these pictures, some canvases have unique motifs, as, for example, the Fish Market painted with Van Dyck. The enormous sturgeon, the horseshoe crabs and the shells (Fig. 180) are not found elsewhere. Considering the popularity in the Netherlands of still lifes showing collections of shells it is surprising that Snyders rarely painted them, even though he clearly excelled in this area. Actually, small marine still lifes by his hand are rare. Few are identified in old inventories and current attributions are questionable. (199) Fish do appear, however, in Larder pictures, as, for example, in the canvasses in Cambridge and Brussels (Figs. 196--198).

Snyders's earliest Fish Markets were painted during the Twelve Years Truce, which is a critical point for their interpretation. During this period, you will recall, Antwerp's fishermen were not restricted to local waterways, but had access to the ocean. After a significant decline prior to the Truce, the industry revived and had even more boats in its fleet and more fishermen than before the Scheldt's closure. The imagery of the Van Ophem-Fish Market and the Market in Vienna acknowledges this renewal by showing numerous fishes and crustaceans caught in the ocean. When hostilities resumed in 1621, Snyders continued to paint fish markets without modifying his initial conception; indeed, in later markets, motifs from the primary compositions are merely rearranged. If the circumstances of the Truce initially invested the first fish markets with political meaning, the continuing interest in this picture type, once circumstances changed, suggests that the subject gained new significance. Rather than showing the immediate consequences of the archdukes's peace policy, the later pictures may advocate a desire to return to that very policy. Another explanation for their continuing popularity is that the pictures express the idea that even with the Scheldt's closure, fishmongers still were thriving and supplying  customers with all their needs. Finally, the Markets may be non-topical, referring in a general way to the rich fishing in the Netherlands, be it in the south or in the north.


120. A. Somof. Ermitage Impérial. Catalogue de la galerie des tableaux.  Vol. II. Ecoles néerlandaises et école allemande. St. Petersburg (1901), pp. 390-391. Gritsay 1990.

121. Michel 1771, pp. 364-365. Because this provenance was accepted by John Smith, the nineteenth-century cataloguer of Dutch and Flemish paintings, it became canonical. For Triest, see article by De Schrevel in Biographie Nationale. Brussels (1930-1932), vol. 25 , cols. 614-623; R. Matthijs. "Iconographie van Bisschop Triest met biografisch aantekeningen." Bulletin der Maatschappij van Geschied en Oudheidkunde te Gent. vol. 46-47 (1938-1939), pp. 126 ff., for Triest's dealings with artists and his art collection. Because of the importance of the Markets, the texts concerning the pictures in Bruges are given in full.

1. Descamps 1753, vol. 1, p. 333.

         "A Bruges, on voit à l'Archeveché quatre grands tableaux qui representent les Elémens, tous les animaux et les fruits qui ont rapport au sujet s'y trouver representés, les figures, de grandeur naturelle, sont peintes par Rubens. On y remarque une belle femme enceinte qui touche quelque fruits dont elle a envie: l'expression de l'avidité en est admirable.

2. Mensaert 1763, vol. 2, p. 62.

          "Dans une Chambre on voit quatre grands tableaux, peints par F. Sneyers; il representent les quatre Elemens: & les Figures, grandes comme nature, sont peintes par Rubens."

 3. Michel 1771, pp. 364-365.

            "Rubens peignit pour Monseigneur Trist, Evêque de Bruges (ensuite Evêque de Gand) les quatre Elemens (plusieurs amateurs pretendent les nommer les quatre Marches de Bruxelles) ces quatre grandes pieces etoient ornées de figures de grandeur naturelle, & les attributs comme gibiers, volailles, poissons, fruits, viandes, & legumes furent du pinceau de F. Snyders: on remarquoit dans une de ces pieces une expression naive du Peintre, y representant, & l'on voit dans ses yeaux la convoitise feminine à devorer ce qu'elle touche."

         "Ces beaux tableaux firent après l'embellisement de la chambre des orfèvres de Bruxelles, mais les doyens de ce metier prirent pour une action glorieuse de vendre ces pieces à un marchand de tableaux, qui les negocia à Londres au prix triple de son achat; les copies de ces quatres pieces très savamment suivies, se trouvent à Bruges chez Mr. de Vicq, Doyen de la Cathèdrale."

122. The Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford (1973), vol. XII, pp. 633-634.

123.  Plumb 1961.

124. University Library, Cambridge. Cholmondeley (Houghton) Manuscripts. I am deeply indebted to Mr. A. E. B. Owen, Keeper of Manuscripts, who supplied me with a photocopy of the letter. Plumb 1961, vol. 2, p. 85, paraphrases the letter, but omits Macky's remarks about the Markets. The Mr. Jaupin referred to in the letter held the office of Post Master in the Habsburg government. A. G. R., Conseil des Finances, no. 554, letter sent by the Receiver General of Brussels to the Council of Finances, dated September 25, 1713.

125. William Kent, Walpole's decorator, drew designs between 1727 and 1730 (Figs. 3, 4) for the installation of the Markets in the Saloon. The designs were not followed as  the travel diary kept by the second Earl of Oxford indicates: " An account of a Journey made through part of the counties of Suffolk, Norfolk, and Cambridgeshire in the month of September, 1732," published in Historical Manuscripts Commission. Report on the Manuscripts of his Grace the Duke of Portland, K. G., preserved at Welbeck Abbey, London (1901), vol.6, p. 71. The Earl wrote, "In the saloon are a great many fine pictures,  particularly the famous Markets of Snyder, but I think they are very oddly put up, one is above the other and joined in the middle with a thin piece of wood gilt. It is certainly wrong because as these pictures of the markets were painted to one point of view, and to be even with the eye, they certainly ought not to be put one above another, besides that narrow gilt ledge that is between the two pictures takes the eye and has a very ill effect." Four years later, in 1736, the pictures are mentioned by Horace Walpole, then only nineteen, in the catalogue he compiled of his father's extensive picture collection  distributed throughout Sir Robert's many residences.  At "Houghton in Norfolk," Horace wrote: "In the Saloon, Four markets of Fowls, Fish, Herbs, & Fruit by Snyders, the figures Rubens 13'10" x 11' 2". " The autograph manuscript in The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, is bound in a copy of the second edition of Horace Walpole's guide to the Houghton collection, the Aedes Walpolianae, London, 1752. By 1747, the year the guide was first published, the Markets had been moved from the Saloon to the Gallery.  Walpole wrote: "Four Markets, by Snyders, One of Fowl, and another of Fish, another of Fruit and the fourth of Herbs. There are two more of them at Munich, a Horse and a Flesh Market; each six Feet nine Inches and Half high by eleven Feet one and a half wide. Mr. Pelham has four Markets by Snyders like these which he bought at Marshal Wade's Sale, the figures by Long John." (p.81) [Marshal Wade is Field- Marshal George Wade (1673-1748). Mr. Pelham is either Thomas Pelham-Holles (1693-1768), Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyme, or his brother Henry Pelham, who died in 1754. Long John is Jan Boeckhorst]. The installation of the Markets in the Gallery is recorded in drawings inserted in a copy of the Aedes Walpolianae in the library of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, which may be by the hand of Horace Walpole, and in drawings by the antiquarian Thomas Kerrich (1748-1828). See Moore 1988, p. 15, for the Kerrich drawings. Mezzotints were made of three Markets by Richard Earlom: the Fruit Market (March, 1775), the Vegetable Market  (November 13, 1779), and the Fish Market (June 1, 1782).  Because the Game Market had been sent to Russia before a prepratory drawing could be made for a print, a Larder by Snyders at Clumber Park, in the possession of Henry Clinton, ninth Earl of Lincoln and second Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyme, was substituted to complete the series. Today, the Clumber Park painting is in The York City Art Gallery (Fig. 177) (Robels 1989, pp.204-205, R 40); a copy of it, but extended on the right, is in a private collection in France. For the prints, see J. E. Wessely. Richard Earlom. Kritischer Verzeichnis seiner Radierungen und Schabkunstblatte. Hamburg (1886), pp. 43-4. These  were published in J.  Boydell. The Houghton Gallery. London (1787-1788) (Figs. 7, 8, 9, 10).

126. Macky 1725, p. 34. Besides misspelling the De Villegas name, Macky's letters have additional inaccuracies and errors. Members of the De Villegas family did not hold the titles of marquis and duke, but the title of "Comte de St Pierre" was inherited by Gérard-François-Balthazar de Villegas from his grandfather François II de Kinschot (1616-1700). Because De Kinschot had disapproved of his daughter's marriage to Paul-Philippe de Villegas, he bypassed that union in his testament and left his estate to his daughter's eldest son. As a foreigner, Macky may have been confused about the family's geneaology and the family may have tried to shield its dispute from an outsider. Furthermore, to make the pictures more desirable, the De Villegas may have played up their rank. As for the age of the pictures, Macky is clearly in error. In the first letter he asserts they are 130 years old, but three months later he reports them as 132. Neither can be correct, since that would place the Markets's origin in the 1590s, which is patently impossible. Finally, the price said to have been paid for the pictures, 40,000 florins (guilders), must be wrong. The journals referred to may be the family documents that the notary Jean Dors copied and summarized in 1707, and which follow the inventory cited below, n.127. For the De Villegas, see Annuaire de la Noblesse de Belgique. Brussels (1854), vol. 8, pp. 195-214; De Vegiano 1865, vol. 3, pp. 2004-2014; G. Guyot. Histoire et Généaologie de la Famille Villegas en Belgique, Brussels (1987). Informative articles by Robert van den Haute and Gladys Guyot on the social, economic and political world of the De Kinschot and the De Villegas family are published in Graafschap Jette. Comté de Jette (1963-1969) and Notre Comté (1970--). 

127. Robert van den Haute, Conservator of the Musée Communal du Comté de Jette, kindly informs me in a letter dated May 16, 1990, that the De Villegas family sold 48 paintings in 1721, probably after the death of Paul-Philippe de Villegas (February 5, 1721). The Markets may have been included in this sale, but neither subject, artist, or purchaser is mentioned in the document. To clarify familial relationships, I give a geneaology (abbreviated and schematized ) of  Jacques-Ferdinand de Villegas (1658-1723) and Gérard-François-Balthazar de Villegas (1687-1745):

I. Jacques van Ophem - Elizabeth Vits

II. Marie-Isabelle van Ophem - Paul-Melchior de Villegas

III. a. Jacques-Ferdinand de Villegas, the first-born son

      b. Paul-Philippe de Villegas, the second-born son

I. François I de Kinschot - Marguerite de Boote

II. François II de Kinschot - Angéline-Hélène d'Oyenbrugge

III. Anne-Thérèse-Hyacinthe de Kinschot--Paul-Philippe de Villegas

IV. Gérard-François-Balthazar de Villegas (1687-1745), first-born son and heir of title Comte de Jette-Saint Pierre

128. Archives Général du Royaume, Notariaat 351. The inventory is seven pages, unpaginated; however, the first is numbered "100" on the upper left corner. (On subsequent days--March 24, 26, 30, April 2, April 4--additional inventories were made.) The entry is as follows: "Item vier stucken schildereye wesende elcke van acht a negen vooten hoogh ende vierthien a vijfthien lanck salve juste, geschildert van Rubbens ende Snyders. Het eerste representerende eenen man met alle sorten wilt en poullerije met hondt ende cat. Het tweede representerende twee vrouws persoonen met alle soorten van fruijten. Het derde representerende twee vrouws persoonen ende eenen jonghen met alle soorten van groen ende pottagerije ende het vierde stuck representerende twee mans persoonen met veele diversche soorten visschen." Louis Robyns de Schneidauer published the entry in the Brussels newspaper Le Soir on December 7, 1960, in the second of a series of four articles titled "Evocation du Bruxelles d'autrefois," chronicling the history of the Hôtel van Ophem. Although Robyns de Schneidauer commented that he thought the inventory description would be of interest to art historians and subtitled the essay, "Un logis seigneurial, rue Neuve au début du XVIIe siècle; les plans de la façade passent pour avoir été dessinés par P.P. Rubens," the reference was overlooked by scholars of Snyders and Rubens.

129. I posit that there were three windows, since the inventory mentions three curtains: "Item voor de vensters drije witte gordijnen met hunne falbalas." (Item in front of the windows three white curtains with flounces.) The chamber was sparsely furnished at the time the inventory was drawn up: a table covered with a Turkish rug "of red, blue and other colors" and a mattress with a feather-bed cover. There is no mention of a fireplace in the room. Gritsay 1990 correctly reconstructs the sequence of the Markets on purely formal grounds, and posits the second arrangement, where the pictures are installed on three walls.

130. This is the first time that Jacques van Ophem is identified as the patron of the Markets.

131. For the Van Ophem family, see Butkens 1721-1726, vol. 2, pp. 427-452, with a list of the magistrates of Brussels from 1392, including members of the Van Ophem family. De Vegiano 1865, vol. 3, pp. 1482-1483; L. Stroobant. "Famille van Ophem." Jadis. (1899), vol. 3, pp. 88-89; Lindemans 1945, pp. 28-38; H.- C. van Parys. Brabantica. Brussels (1959), vol. 4, pt. 1, pp. 360-361; E. Spelekens. "Contribution à l'étude de la généalogie de la famille van der Meeren et (accessoirement) de celle de la famille van Ophem." L'Intermédiaire des Généalogistes. (1968), vol. 136, pp. 213 ff. (I am indebted to Pierre Duré of the Bibliothèque Albert Ier, Brussels, for making this article available to me). Spelekens points out that Lindemans's geneaology is largely based on the  Houwaert manuscript, Bibliothèque Royale, Manuscrits, Fonds Houwaert, II 6601, folios 274-276.

132. Lindemans 1945, p. 28.

133. De Schneidauer,  December 7, 1960.

134. La Flandre illustrée par l'institution de la Chambre du Roi à Lille. Lille (1713), pp. 103-106; Jean 1992, p. 184.

135. See P. Gachard. Inventaire des Archives des Chambres des Comptes, Brussels (1851), vol. 3, pp. 269-270, 272, 274-278, and p. XIX, for an explanation of the confiscations. Lindemans 1945, p. 31, identifies Jacques van Ophem's first cousin, also named Jacques, his uncle Peeter's son, as the receiver of Flanders (not qualified as East) and as a member of the Roodenbeek lignage.recording merchandise and foodstuffs confiscated in Antwerp between August 4, 1610 and June 30, 1611.

136. Gheret 1970, pp. 78-79.

137. Gheret 1970, p. 56.

138. G. Bigwood. Les impôts généraux dans les Pays-Bas autrichiens. Louvain (1900); Gheret 1970, pp. 46-48.

139. Gheret 1970, p. 58.

140. A. Pinchart . Inventaire des Archives des Chambres des Comptes précédé d'une notice historique sur ces anciennes institutions. Brussels (1865), pp. 196 (for receiver of windfalls), 326 (for receiver of court works). And see Nelis 1931, vol. VI, pp. 116, for cens collected at, among other locales, Jette and Ganshoren, as well as additional revenue sources, including the sale of wood and charcoal in Brussels.

141. P. Saintenoy. Les arts et les artistes à la cour de Bruxelles. vol. III. Le Palais royal du Coudenberg du règne d'Albert et Isabelle à celui d'Albert Ier, roi des Belges. (Académie royale des sciences, des lettres et des beaux-arts. Classe des beaux-arts. Mémoires. Collection in 4º, sér. 2, tome 6, fasc. 2). Brussels (1935), pp. 52, 54, 57-58. From 1612 to 1618, expenses for the Coudenberg Palace are recorded in Spanish by an unidentified official; Jacques van Ophem's accounts begin in 1619. See Gachard 1845, vol. 2, p. 6. The contrôleur des ouvrages was a member of the De Backer family, which had purchased the hof te Ophem from Jacques van Ophem's grandfather and assumed the manor's title. Was the heart of the 1625 conflict personal rather than administrative?

142. De Vegiano 1868, vol. 3, p. 1483, remarks that when Van Ophem died, he was titled with these honors, but he does not indicate when he received them.

143. According to Jean 1992, p. 351, Christina Vermeeren is the daughter of Herman Vermeeren and Jeanne de Breys, who was legitimized on July 17, 1602. The 1707 inventory of the possessions of Marie-Isabelle van Ophem gives her name as Joanne Christina Vermeeren (See above, n.127). Lindemans 1945, p. 32, incorrectly identifies the first wife as Elizabeth Vermeeren and records that she bore two children, Jacques and Constance. Elizabeth Vits's only child was Marie-Isabelle. De Vegiano 1868, vol. 3, pp. 1482-1483, only mentions the second union.

144. For the Vits family, see De Vegiano 1868, vol. 4, p. 2035. I point out the offices held by Van Ophem and the Vits family to indicate that familial ties played an important role in advancing careers in the government of the Spanish Netherlands.

145. De Vegiano 1868, vol. 3, p. 1482-1483.

146. Wauters 1855, vol. 2, pp. 388-408. Wauters, p. 396, refers to a dispute over the acquisition of the Heembeek villages between Jacques van Ophem and his brother, who Wauters identifies as Jacques, too. (Lindemans 1945, p. 32, writes that Jacques van Ophem had one brother, Roeland, who was older.) According to Wauters, the brother purchased Neder-and Over-Heembeek in 1625 for 3,400 florins and sold them on November 5, 1630, but Jacques van Ophem, the receiver, intervened, reclaimed them, and brought the case before the feudal court of Brabant, where it was settled in his favor. Having rights of justice enhanced a landowner's local prestige, generated revenue from fines, and  gave him the right to hunt on territories under his jurisdiction as well as on his own lands. (For the first two points, see Verniers 1965, p. 100, and for the third, see Faider 1888, pp. 113, 115). It should also be pointed out that because the townships were close to Brussels, they were desirable property, since their produce could be sold in the city. See above, note 50.

147. For René de Renesse and Aa, see Wauters 1855, vol. 1, p. 13.  Butkens  1721-1726, vol. 2, p. 105, says of the Aa family:  "Entre les familles plus illustres du Brabant doit tenir rang celle d'Aa."   

148. For François I de Kinschot, see De Vegiano 1865, vol. 2, pt. 1, pp. 1146-1147; Biographie Nationale 1888-1889, vol. 10, cols. 769-771; G. Guyot. "Un Portrait Inédit de François Ier de Kinschot." Graafschap Comté de Jette, 1980, vol. I, pp. 2-6. For the council's comment, see H. Lonchay et al. Correspondance de la Cour d'Espagne sur les Affaires des Pays-Bas au XVIIe Siècle. Brussels (1935), vol. 4, p. 198.

149. Huppert 1977, pp. 2-4, 17-23.

150. Pirenne 1949, vol. 1, p. 499.

151. Pirenne 1949, vol. 1, p. 496.

152. Pirenne 1949, vol. 1, p. 499.

153. My account is based on articles  by L. Robyns de Schneidauer, entitled "Evocation du Bruxelles d'autrefois," published in Le Soir, December 6, 7, 8, 9, 1960, and on Henne and Wauters 1975, vol. IV, p. 182. Hubert Coronel, the man who sold Jacques van Ophem the land on which the hôtel was built, was named court mason in 1602. See Saintenoy 1935, p. 19.

154. Henne and Wauters 1975, vol. IV, p. 182.

155. De Schneidauer 1960, December 8, points out that many mansions in Brussels had towers, and in Antwerp merchants had towers constructed on their hôtels so that they could survey the docks, to see when ships were arriving and leaving the port. A few examples survive there. See Bouwen door de eeuwen heen in Vlaanderen. Inventaris van het cultuurbezit in België. Architectuur Stad Antwerpen. Deel 3na. Turnhout (1990), pp. 104, 120, 211, 251.

156. Archives Général du Royaume, Notariaat 351, Jean Dors: "inde salet camer ter flincker handt . . . tegens de strate"; "inde salet camer op de rechter handt tegens de strate".

157. AGR, Notariaat 351, Jean Dors: "Item een groot lanck stuck representerende Sint Cecelia spelen opde klavesimbel." Although Rubens's name is not indicated--the Markets are the only attributed pieces in the entire collection--the picture may be the St. Cecilia in Berlin. See J. Kelch. Peter Paul Rubens. Kritischer Katalog der Gemälde im Besitz der Gemäldegalerie Berlin, Berlin-Dahlem, 1978, pp. 52-58; Muller 1989, pp. 113-114, traces the Berlin picture's provenance to Joseph Sonsot in Brussels, whose estate was sold on July 20, 1739, but questions whether the picture given to Van Ophem is identical with it, since "other pictures numbered in the Specification are identified with the same numbers in the 1645 account of Rubens's estate, whereas the St. Cecilia presented to Van Ophem is not given a number." Morevoer, the inventory describes a large horizontal [oblong] picture (een groot lanck stuck), which also casts doubt on van Ophem’s ownership of the Berlin St. Cecilia. Jacques van Ophem received the picture from Rubens's heirs in recognition of his assistance in arranging for the sale of 29 pictures from the artist's estate to Philip IV. This is not the only time Van Ophem negotiated art for Spain. In 1637,  statues of the seven Planets and Bacchus by the sixteenth-century sculptor Jacques Jonghelinck were shipped to Olivares for installation at the Buen Retiro. The Cardinal Infante, who had received them from Van Ophem at cost price. This famous group of large-scale bronzes commissioned by Jonghelinck's brother, Niclaes, (the owner, too, of Bruegel's Months and numerous pictures by Frans Floris, including the Labors of Hercules) was cast between 1563/67-1571/73, and became the subject of considerable controversy and political intrigue. Although they were supposed to have been shipped to Spain in 1586, the statues remained in the Netherlands, eventually becoming the property of the French prince Charles de Lorraine, duke d'Aumale, who had them installed in the garden of his chateau at Anderlecht, outside Brussels. Van Ophem purchased them from the duke's estate after he died in 1631. In 1647, when Van Ophem was negotiating for a pension from Spain, he recalled that he had given up the stautes, valued at 48,000 florins, at no cost to the crown. For the history of the statues in the sixteenth century, see L. Smolderen. "Les Bacchus et les sept Planètes par Jacques Jonghelinck." Revue des Archéologues et des Historiens d'Art de Louvain. 1977, vol. 10, pp. 102-143, and  I. Buchanan. "The Collection of Niclaes Jonghelinck: I. 'Bacchus and the Planets' by Jacques Jonghelinck." Burlington Magazine. 1990, vol.132, pp.102-113. For the installation of the statues in the Octagonal Room in the Alcázar of Madrid, see S. Orso. Philip IV and the Decoration of the Alcázar of Madrid. Princeton (1986), p. 157; for Van Ophem's cession of rights to the sculptures, see M. van Durme. Les Archives Générales de Simancas et l'histoire de la Belgique IXe-XIXe siècle. Brussels (1968), vol. 3, p. 17. 

158. De Schneidauer 1960, December 7 and 8, and for Renswoude, P. C. Molhuysen et al. Nieuw Nederlandsch Biografisch Woordenboek. Amsterdam (1974), vol. 3, cols. 1034-1035;  P. Geyl. The Netherlands in the 17th Century. Part Two 1648-1715. London-New York (1964), p. 330.

159. L. Danckaert. Bruxelles. Cinq Siècles de Cartographie. Tielt-Knokke (1989), pp. 59, 61, 63, 64, 66, 68, 76.

160. Liedtke 1984, vol. 1, p. 202; Balis 1986, pp. 98-101, who proves that the picture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art is the painting purchased by the duke of Aerschot.

161. The comptoir or office is referred to in the inventories made on March 26, 1707 by Jean Dors, where documents amassed by Van Ophem and his descendants are registered. Although these include both private and official papers, I was not able to identify  the journal Macky refers to in his letter to Walpole. The installation posited for the Van Ophem Markets, that is, in an office, is without parallel. The prevailing consensus has been that sets of market scenes were placed in dining chambers, a view based in part on the location of the Campi Markets in the dining hall of Kirchheim Castle, the Fugger residence in Swabia. See Wind 1977, p. 108; Grimm 1979-1980, pp. 357-358.

162. Wauters 1855, vol. 1, p. LII; Verniers 1965, p. 93; Henne and Wauters 1975, vol. 2, pp, 402-403, and vol. 3, p.77, for the chambre du tonlieu; for the receiver general in the later Middle Ages, see M. Martens. L'administration du domaine ducal en Brabant au moyen âge, 1250-1406. (Académie royale de Belgique. Classe des lettres et des sciences morales et politiques. Mémoires. Collection in 8º. ser. 2, t. 48, fasc. 3). Brussels (1954), pp. 335, 487 ff.

163. Verniers 1965, p. 93, "Parmi les cens les plus importants à contôler se trouvaient ceux afférents à location des étaux dans les halles et des échoppes des marchés de la ville." ; Henne and Wauters 1975, vol. 2, p. 405; for the butchers's guild, see, Des Marez 1903-1904, pp. 85-86, 229-230; Henne and Wauters 1975, vol. 2, p. 424 f., and vol. 3, p. 80 f., for the butcher's hall.

164. Parker 1988, p. 255.

165. Brants 1910, pp. 172, 176-177.

166. Parker 1988, p. 258.

167. Brants 1910, p. 18.

168. One additional point should be mentioned. Since I hypothesize that the Markets were commissioned in 1618, the Brussels tax revolt of 1619 (May-November) was not a factor in the planning of the project, but it may have colored the picture's reception. The revolt ostensibly stemmed from the archdukes imposition of a small tax (gigot) on beer that had not been approved by the city of Brussels as required by law, but other factors contributed to it as well. Chief among them was the dissatisfaction of the nations's (guild associations)  with the municipal government's handling of city monies and a desire to reassert the rights of the nations as the Twelve Years Truce drew to a close. While the cens collected by the receveur général on market stalls was never at issue during the "guerre de gigot," as the revolt was called, the popular perception of the Markets , which indirectly exalted the reign of the archdukes and indicated domainal rights in Brabant's commerce, might have excited some latent hostility among the strongest supporters of the revolt. See L. Galesloot, Troubles de 1619. Justification Apologétique pour l'advocat Rombaut van Uden, Brussels, 1868; Henne and Wauters 1975, vol. 2, pp.26-35.

169. Descamps 1753, p. 333. Argued most forcefully by Gritsay 1985, who makes the best case for this interpretation.

170. Stedelijk Museum 'De Lakenhal' Leiden. Beschrijvende Catalogus van de Schilderijen en Tekeningen. Leyden (1949), pp. 273-278.

171. C. Wilson. The Dutch Republic. New York-Toronto (1968), pp. 30-31.

172. For instance, some examples in Rubens's oeuvre are: The Felicity of the Regency, The Life of Maria de' Medici; The Peaceful Reign of King James , Banqueting House, Whitehall; The Temple of Janus, The Triumphal Entry of Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand into Antwerp. Gritsay 1990 also underscores the connection between the imagery of abundance generated in Rubens's studio, and political circumstances in the Netherlands, noting that the Markets, in their fulness, embody the ideals of the Golden Age.

173. Wind 1977, p. 108.

174. Eccles 1982, p. 71, points out that in seventeenth-century obstetrical and gynaecological literature, diets promoting fertility and protecting against miscarriage were prescribed. Foods "to increase seed, promote heat and provoke lust included the flesh of small birds . . . eggs, milk, rice boiled in milk, beans, peas, onions, garlics, leeks, French beans, radishes, hazel and almond nuts, marzipan, cinnamon, cardamon, cloves, ginger and saffron." In this connection Aldrovandi's comments about beans are relevant: "Everyone knows that beans inflate and everything that inflates encourages sexual appetite." Aldrovandi 1963, p. 134.

175. Ripa 1644, pt. I, p. 69.

176. Eccles 1982, pp. 33, 35. The pit within the fruit is a  likeness for the fetus in the womb. See, for instance, the uterus in Vesalius's Fabrica (Fig. 443 ). Saunders and O'Malley 1950, p. 170, pl. 60.

177. A related idea is expressed in Shakespeare's Othello (1601-1604), where the villain Iago says: "Good name in man and woman, dear my lord/ Is the immediate jewel of their souls./ Who steals my purse steals trash; tis something, nothing;/ Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands;/ But he that filches from me my good name/ Robs me of that which not enriches him/ And makes me poor indeed." Robels 1989, p. 192, explains the robbery as illustrating the proverb: "he who pays too much attention to material things will deceive himself."

178. See Tilley 1950, p. 83, for the proverb "to set the cart before the horse." Erasmus 1989, p. 83, comments: "Of something that happens the wrong way around." For the wheel as a symbol of time, see Henkel and Schöne 1976, col. 1429.

179. Duvosquel 1985, p. 234, fig. 10b.

180. See below, pp. 00.

181. For women as vendors of produce, see G. Des Marez. L'Organisation du travail à Bruxelles au XVe siècle. (Académie royale des sciences, des lettres et des beaux-arts de Belgique, Mémoires couronnés et autres mémoires. Collection in 8º, vol. 65). (1903-1904), pp. 108, 312, 357, 502; and for the fruit and vegetable guilds, see Henne and Wauters 1975, vol. 2, 427, 429. For the nations, see Verniers 1965, pp. 241-242; Henne and Wauters 1975, vol. 2, pp. 421 ff. 

182. For the erotic connotations of fish, see Verbraeken 1986, pp. 176-178; Wind 1977, p. 109, and Kavaler 1986, p.19. See Henkel and Schöne 1976, cols. 710-711, for Jacob Cat's emblem Quod Perdidit, Optat, which pictures a young couple standing before a fish stall studying an eel sliced in two. The lesson Cats teaches with this  unromantic spectacle is that just as the fish's parts seek to be reunited, so lovers are drawn together irresistibly, to be united in that wholeness once enjoyed by mankind's first parents.

183. Verbraeken 1986, p. 155.

184. Adams 1982, p. 113. Woordenboek der Nederlandsche Taal 1971, vol. 21, p. 613,  vijg is vernacular for female genitals. "To give the fig," (thrusting the thumb between  forefinger and middle finger), a universal (European) gesture of contempt, is the "imago vulvae" and a symbol for sexual penetration. See Grimm 1862, vol. 3, col. 1444. For the  fig-pecker, see N. Douglas. Birds and Beasts of the Greek Anthology. New York (1972), pp. 98-99;  Albert the Great. Man and Beasts. de animalibus (Books 22-26). trans. J. J. Scanlan, M.D. Binghamton, New York (1987), p. 289;  Naïs 1961, p. 237; Brusewitz 1969, pp. 232-243. 

185. For bécasse, see Le Grand Robert 1985, vol. I, p. 216; Gosson 1579, line 72.

186. Horses appear in the backgrounds of market scenes by Aertsen and Beuckelaer, but the animals are not singled out, isolated, as in Snyders's picture.

187. Aristotle 1970, vol. 1, p. 55.

188. Robels 1989, p. 192, observes that cats and dogs mainly have  negative connotations in  Kitchens and in this picture probably allude to carnal desire and the proverb "a dog and cat do not tolerate one another."

189. But see above note 19, for Gerson's opinion regarding the figures in the Van Ophem Markets. When Horace Walpole catalogued his father's collection in 1736, he gave the figures to Rubens, but in the Aedes Walpolianae Snyders alone is mentioned. However, the figures in the replicas owned by Marshal Wade are attributed to "Long John." Robels 1989, p, 31, accepts the tradition that Antoine Triest commissioned the Markets during his tenure in Bruges. However, she rejects the attribution of the figures to Jan Boeckhorst, since, she observes, he only began his art studies in 1625-1627. Hairs 1977, p. 84, thinks that the Bruges pictures described by Descamps are not identical with the Markets owned by Walpole. Therefore, the traditional ascription of the figures to Boeckhorst, Hairs claims, in fact may be correct.

190. Huppert 1977, pp. 45-46.

191. According to J. van Gool. De nieuwe Schouberg. The Hague (1750-1775), vol. 2, pp. 138-140,  Robert Walpole commissioned N. Anchilus  (Peter Angelis) to paint reductions, in 1727,  of "the four markets of Brussels, that is to say, the Meat, Fish, Fowl and Fruit Markets," but, dissatisfied with the results, he rejected them. The pictures were sold at auction by Angelis shortly before his departure from England, in 1628. Walpole 1782, vol. 4, p.16. The Markets in the collection of the Earl of Dudley may be the ones Angelis painted. According to Jaffé 1971, p. 196, n. 59, they date from the 18th century and  measure 1.06 x 1.54, which is about half the size of the originals. See J. Richardson. "Setting for a Salon." House & Garden. December 1986, pp. 125-131. A full-scale copy of the Fish Market  (Paris, Louvre, inv. 1848) was seized from the Duke of Brissac, June 14, 1797. The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge has a full-scale copy of the Game Stall, inv. 315, received from C. Maud in 1856. See The Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge. Catalogue of Paintings. Volume I. Dutch, Flemish, French, German, Spanish. Cambridge, 1960, p. 119. Perhaps the Louvre and Cambridge paintings belonged to the set of Markets on view in the archepiscopal residence in Bruges in the 18th century. See above, note 120.

192. A. Gijzen. "Schilderkunst, Biologie, Voedingsleer en Gastronomie." Jaarboek Koninklijk Museum voor Schoone Kunsten. Antwerpen (1962-1963), pp. 80-81; A. Gijzen. "De Vismarkt van Joachim Beuckelaer." Joachim Beuckelaer. Ghent (1986), pp. 67-70, counts 10 types of fishes in Beuckelaer's 1569 Fish Market of 1569, Ghent, Museum voor Schone Kunsten.

193. For the Drooghuis (Rookhuis), see De Lattin 1955, vol. 9, pp. 108-109 and for the other structures, see pp. 123-127.

194. De Lattin 1955, vol. 9, pp. 112 ff. and pp. 118-120  for regulations promulgated by Albrecht and Isabella. See Baetens 1989, pp. 172-179, 184, 190 f., for municipal regulations

195. G. Asaert. "From Wharf to Commercial Metropolis." Antwerp. A Port for all Seasons. Antwerp (1986), p. 155; for the transport of fish, see Thijs 1986, pp. 203-219.

196. De Bie 1662, p. 62.

197. Robels 1989, pp. 398-399. Until Gustav Glück attributed the figures to Van Dyck in 1912, they were ascribed to Rubens, even in the inventory of the original owner, George Villiers. This tradition may indicate that Rubens prepared a modello for the project. Vlieghe 1977, p. 194, makes this suggestion in connection with a painting of a fish market by Rubens, inventoried in the collection of the painter's brother-in-law.

198. Sale Sotheby's, Monaco, 20 June, 1987, no. 355, with the Game Market, no. 354.

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