The work of Paul de Vos is characterised by an extraordinary interpretative vein of the highly appreciated subject of hunting and still life with animals. This large canvas, dominated by the bright red of the table on which the freshly caught game is placed, is interrupted only by a rich fruit basket in the background of the composition. The artist pays great attention to the detail of the plumage of the birds lying on the table, to the intertwining of their bodies piled on each other. There is a strong desire to describe a reality that is not purely decorative but almost narrative. De Vos had been a pupil of Denis van Hove and David Remeeus in Antwerp, but it is to Frans Snyders – who became his brother-in-law in 1611 – that we owe a fundamental change in his style. Thanks to him, the artist adopted this genre as his distinctive feature, and it is thanks to his dedication to these representations that he entered the Guild of St. Luke’s Painters in Antwerp in 1620. Like many other still-life painters of his generation, he had the opportunity to collaborate with some of the greatest artists of his time as a painter of animals. His best-known collaboration was with Rubens and Snyder on the decoration of the Buen Retiro in Spain between 1636-37, a country where he travelled and worked for a long time. Finally, we can link the name of Paul de Vos with that of other great names, such as Erasmus Quellinus, Antoon van Dyck, and Jan Wildens.
Bibl.: B. Arnout, Paul de Vos, in Grove Art Online, Oxford University Press, 2007.