"The animal painter Jan Fijt (Fyt) was christened on 15th March 1611 in Antwerp as the son of the wealthy merchant Peter Fijt and his wife Esther de Meere. He began his training in 1621/22 with Hans van den Berghe, but soon moved to the workshop of Frans Snyders. After his admission as a master to the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke in 1629/30, he worked as Snyders' assistant until 1631. At the latest in 1633, Fijt went to Paris and did not leave it until the trip to Italy in the summer of 1635. His route led him via Venice to Rome and on to Naples. In Rome he was nicknamed ""Goudvink"" (Goldfink) and was introduced to the ""Schildersbent"", the local association of Dutch painters. He returned via Florence and Genoa and possibly also visited Spain and London. At the latest from 5th September 1641 Fijt lived again in Antwerp, where he spent the rest of his life except for a short trip to the northern Netherlands in the following year. In 1650 Fijt joined the Guild of Romanists, which was reserved exclusively for travellers to Rome, and two years later he was elected to the Board of Directors. Fijt taught Jeroom Pickaert, who moved to the northern Netherlands from 1643 to 1648 after working for Fijt, and Jacob van de Kerckhoven in 1649/50. Pieter Boel was his most important pupil. According to Van den Branden, Fijt also had other apprentices not registered with the Guild. On 22nd March 1654 he married Johanna Francisca van den Zande, who came from a wealthy family. Two years later he bought a house in Antwerp. On 14th July 1661 Fijt had his will drawn up and died on 11th September.
Fijt specialised in outdoor wild still lifes and worked with various historical painters such as Jacob Jordaens and Erasmus Quellinus II."