Joannes Fijt

Joannes Fijt is an Antwerp painter, draftsman, and etcher. It is possible that Fijt completes his training under Frans Snijders (1579-1657). Fijt himself is probably an instructor of Peeter Boel (1622-1674), who imitates Fijt's style.

Fijt is an exceptionally productive artist and runs a successful studio. Many replicas of paintings were produced by the studio. The artist becomes a wealthy man and maintains excellent contacts with commissioners and art dealers both at home and abroad. Fijt is an influential still-life specialist who has continuously influenced the still life in the Netherlands and Italy. Fijt's style is copied by numerous followers. He paints floral and fruit still lives and hunting, fruit and animal pieces.

Joannes Fijt makes a more refined variant of the animal still life than his example Frans Snijders, in line with the preference for his primarily aristocratic clientele. Fijt uses an other, more striking palette than Snijders and is in that respect influenced by the art from Italy. As his career proceeds, the painter develops a preference for more dynamic movement and asymmetry. Fijt introduces the hunting still life with an open landscape that is carefully composed. Fijt's animal painting is notable for the delicate rendering of fur and plumage. In some cases he has others do the figures, such as Erasmus Quellinus II (1607-1678), Thomas Willeboirts Bosschaert (1614-1654), and possibly on occasion Jacob Jordaens I (1593-1678).

15 March 1611

Joannes Fijt is born in Antwerp.

1622-1631

In these years, Fijt is active in Antwerp. Fijt is a student of Hans van den Berghe and possibly Frans Snijders. He remains until 1631 working with Snijders.

1629-1630

Joannes Fijt becomes Free Master in the Antwerp St. Lucas guild.

1633-34

The artist travels to Southern Europe and stops in Paris.

1635

Fijt visits Venice where he delivers work for the Sagredo and Contarini family. During his stay in Italy, he most likely also visits Naples, Florence and Genoa.

1641

Joannes Fijt is back in Antwerp and until the end of his life is active in the city.

1642

The artist makes a short trip to the Northern Netherlands in this year.

1649

Fijt is a witness in a lawsuit against J. H. Eversberck, who purchases art for Governor Leopold Wilhelm (1614-1662). Leopold Wilhelm has various works by Fijt in his possession.

1650

The painter becomes a member of the guild of Romanists in Antwerp. The guild is only accessible for artists whom have visited Rome. In Rome he must have entered the Schilderbent. There he receives the nickname Goudvink.

1652

Fijt is dean of the Guild of Romanists in Antwerp.

22 March 1654

Françoise van de Sande and Joannes Fijt marry. The couple has 4 children.

11 September 1661

Joannes Fijt dies in Antwerp.

Matthias Depoorter