Peter Snijers – Still Life with Tistle and Nest –
Pieter Snyers or Peter Snijers (first name also written as: ‘Peeter’ and nickname ‘De Heilige’ or ‘The Holy One’) (30 March 1681 – 4 May 1752) was a Flemish art collector, painter, draughtsman and engraver. He practised a wide variety of genres, including portraits, genre painting, still life and landscape painting.
He entered on 17 August 1741 into an agreement with five other artists to provide free tuition at the directors of the Antwerp Academy. The Academy would eventually replace the Guild of Saint Luke.
The Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp (Dutch: Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten van Antwerpen) is an art academy located in Antwerp, Belgium. It is one of the oldest of its kind in Europe. It was founded in 1663 by David Teniers the Younger, painter to the Archduke Leopold Wilhelm and Don Juan of Austria. Teniers was master of the Guild of St Luke — which embraced arts and some handicrafts — and petitioned Philip IV of Spain, then master of the Spanish Netherlands, to grant a royal charter to establish a Fine Arts Academy in Antwerp. It houses the Antwerp Fashion Academy.
Shortly after the founding of Antwerp Academy, three large paintings were executed for its meeting hall. Antwerp, Nurse of Painters, by Theodoor Boeyermans (1665; 188 x 454 cm), promotes the city’s recent artistic past. Portraits of Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck watch over students as they practise the arts. At the centre is the allegorical Antverpia pictorum nutrix (“Antwerp, nurse of painters”). Chronos accompanies other young students who present their artwork. The river god Scaldis, a personification of Antwerp’s river Scheldt, symbolises with his cornucopia the wealth and bounty of the city’s artistic heritage.
The Guild of Saint Luke was the most common name for a city guild for painters and other artists in early modern Europe, especially in the Low Countries. They were named in honor of the Evangelist Luke, the patron saint of artists, who was identified by John of Damascus as having painted the Virgin’s portrait.
One of the most famous such organizations was founded in Antwerp. It continued to function until 1795, although by then it had lost its monopoly and therefore most of its power. In most cities, including Antwerp, the local government had given the Guild the power to regulate defined types of trade within the city. Guild membership, as a master, was therefore required for an artist to take on apprentices or to sell paintings to the public. Similar rules existed in Delft, where only members could sell paintings in the city or have a shop. The early guilds in Antwerp and Bruges, setting a model that would be followed in other cities, even had their own showroom or market stall from which members could sell their paintings directly to the public.
The guild of Saint Luke not only represented painters, sculptors, and other visual artists, but also—especially in the seventeenth century—dealers, amateurs, and even art lovers (the so-called liefhebbers). In the medieval period most members in most places were probably manuscript illuminators, where these were in the same guild as painters on wood and cloth—in many cities they were joined with the scribes or “scriveners”. In traditional guild structures, house-painters and decorators were often in the same guild. However, as artists formed under their own specific guild of St. Luke, particularly in the Netherlands, distinctions were increasingly made. In general, guilds also made judgments on disputes between artists and other artists or their clients. In such ways, it controlled the economic career of an artist working in a specific city, while in different cities they were wholly independent and often competitive against each other.