Studio of Frans Snyders, (Flemish)
Game Stall at Market
Oil on canvas
Samuel H. Kress Collection, 1961.
1625/37The Renaissance Connection
The painting Game Stall at Market depicts a bountiful, yet somewhat arresting portrayal of an early 17th century market scene. Daily or weekly town markets were a very
important part of everyday life during the Renaissance as the grocery stores of today did not exist. Instead food was grown, game hunted, and livestock raised for sale
at local markets. Fresh fish were also offered at coastal markets adding to the wide variety of provisions available. As trade and exploration increased, food including
fruit and spices were bought, sold, and traded at local markets throughout Europe.
As populations grew, town markets became a meeting-place for people and goods of all descriptions with products linked to a given area surrounding the town and sometimes from
place faraway. By the 15th century, large powerful towns throughout Europe were drawing goods from regions very far away thereby increasing the diversity of products.
Many of the interesting spices, fruits, and wild game seen in today's grocery stores were available during the Renaissance although the preparation, preservation methods,
and presentation of the foods varied greatly from what we see lining the shelves of our local grocery stores.