Fruit painter, painter, hunt painter, bird painter, animal painter and still-life painter
Unlike his older brother, the portrait and history painter Cornelis de Vos, Paul de Vos specialised in still lifes and animals, which he also included in works by Rubens and Thomas Willeboirts Bosschaert. In return, he left the landscape in his paintings to specialists such as Jan Wildens. Since he described himself as being 78 and 80 of age in September 1670 and October 1672 respectively, he must have been born around 1591/92. According to other information he was born on 9th December 1595. In 1596 the family moved from his birthplace Hulst to Antwerp. In 1604 Paul de Vos was apprenticed to Denys van Hove for a short time. In 1606 he transferred to the workshop of David Remeeus, where his brother had already been trained. After his sister Margaretha married Frans Snyders in 1611, he worked for his brother-in-law. In 1620 De Vos is listed as a master in the local Guild of Saint Luke. He married Isabella Waerbeek, the daughter of a notary, on 15th November 1624. Rubens was the godfather of his son, who was christened Peter Paul in 1628. Alexander Daems (1627/28) and Lancelot van Dalen (1636/37) are documented to have been De Vos' pupils. In 1637/38 De Vos worked together with Rubens and Snyders on the furnishing of the royal Spanish residences Buen Retiro and Torre de la Parada. De Vos' paintings were highly appreciated there as well as at other European courts. Philippe Charles d'Arenberg, Duke of Aarschot, was a prominent patron. A house purchase completed in 1638 and various real estate shares show that De Vos' family lived in favourable circumstances. He wrote his will on 31st October 1675 and died on 30th June 1678. His possessions and extensive collection of paintings are documented in an inventory dated from 5th July 1678.