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The Fox and the Heron

ca. 1630-1640
47 1/8 x 61 1/4 in. (119.7 x 155.6 cm)

Frans Snyders
Flemish (1579 - 1657) Artist
Workshop of Frans Snyders
Flemish Artist

Object Type: Painting
Medium and Support: Oil on canvas
Credit Line: Gift of Dr. and Mrs. James V. Aquavella
Accession Number: 1972.75
Location: Currently on view
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Monumental and decorative animal painting developed in Antwerp in the 17th century in the immediate circle of Rubens. Snyders, whose workshop was famous for this type of work, often also collaborated on the animals, flowers, and fruit in his friend Rubens's paintings. The rendering of materials such as the fur of the fox, the plumage of the bird, and the transparency of the glass jar add to the interest in texture.

"The Fox and the Heron" is a story from Aesop's Fables. In the background, the fox invites the heron for dinner and offers only a bowl of soup, impossible for the heron to eat. In the foreground, the heron in turn invites the fox. Dinner is served in a long-necked glass jar and the fox can only lick the outside.

Moral: One bad turn deserves another!

[Gallery label text, August 1996]

Provenance
[?Diego Mexía, Marquis de Leganés, (d. 1655) Madrid; by descent to?] Vicente Isabel Osorio de Moscoso, Count Altamira (1777-1837), Madrid; his sale, June 9, 1827, Mr. Stanley’s, London, lot 52; probably purchased at that sale by John Cust, 1st Earl Brownlow (1779-1853); by descent to his grandson, Adelbert Wellington Brownlow Cust, 3rd Earl Brownlow (1844-1921); his sale, Christie's, London, May 4-7, 1923, lot 91; purchased at that sale by Spink, London (dealers); ?Hugh Grosvenor, 2nd Duke of Westminster (1879-1953)?; sale, Sotheby & Co., London, June 24, 1959, lot 15; Dr. and Mrs. James V. Aquavella, Rochester; their gift to the Gallery in 1972

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Web Links See links to web pages and lesson plans
Audio Description of Frans Snyders' painting The Fox and the Heron Frans Snyders' painting The Fox and the Heron is described in detail for the visually impaired visitor.
Animals in Art Discover the many ways images of animals appear in art: as pets, working animals, wild animals, animal habitats, animals in fables & myths, animals as symbols, animals as teachers.
Art Alive: The Fable of the Fox and the Heron Using MAG's Learning to Look/Looking to Learn philosophy, guide students' looking and use open-ended questions to elicit personal responses. Includes many suggestions for classroom activities and connections to reinforce ELA skills.
MAGexplore MAGexplore provides in-depth information and close looking at over 200 objects in MAG's collection.


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