A Hundred Snakes and One Salamander

Frans Snyders’ scene-stealing amphibian

Bronwen Scott
5 min readNov 25, 2023

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Detail from Rubens’ (and Snyders’) Medusa. A yellow and white Fire Salamander ignores writhing snakes and two crawling spiders.
Salamander, spiders, scorpion, snakes and…something. Detail from Peter Paul Rubens’ ‘Medusa’. Public Domain.

Flemish artist Frans Snyders (1579–1657) specialised in painting wildlife. Best known for his elaborate works depicting hares, partridges and other game laid out on crowded tables and for his hunting scenes where dogs chase deer and wild boar, he also collaborated with other artists. Among them was Peter Paul Rubens.

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Bronwen Scott

Zoologist, writer, artist, museum fan, enjoying life in the tropical rainforest of Far North Queensland. She/her. Website: bronwenscott.com