Unexpected consequences fuel the creative mind. The stuff of adventure in literature, their twists and turns wreak havoc in the science laboratory and the art studio alike. Frans Snyders, old master and founder of Baroque still life with animals, understood the unexpected and its power to surprise and used it to animate his work. A thriving arts market in 17th-century Flanders, supported by growing prosperity and curiosity about the natural world, provided a rich environment for still life painting, known since antiquity but always relegated low down the ladder of genres. As he expressed the exuberance of his age in lifeless objects made dynamic and relevant, Snyders elevated the genre. His compositions often contained live animals as Author affi liation: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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