Jan Fyt (or Johannes Fijt) was born in Antwerp in 1610 and was apprenticed to artist Hans van den Berge at the age of eleven. He also studied under the great Flemish painter Franz Snyders, whose work primarily focused on imagery of the hunt and of the combat of wild animals. Fyt travelled and worked for ten years in France, Holland, and Italy before returning to Antwerp in 1643.
Fyt later entered the guild of St. Luke as a master and, from that time until his death in 1661, he produced a vast number of paintings of animals. His work is characterized by an extreme realism in the depiction of the textures of fur and plumage, as well as by harmonious color and bold and dramatic action. Fyt's favorite subjects included dogs and dead game.