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Jan Brueghel the Elder

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Jan Brueghel the Elder

Family of Jan Breughel the Elder, c. 1612-13, by Peter Paul Rubens, depicts Brueghel, his wife Catharina van Mariënburg and their eldest surviving children: Elisabeth (b. 1609) and Pieter (b. 1608).

Jan Brueghel the Elder (Dutch: ; 1568 – 13 January 1625) was a Flemish painter, son of Pieter Bruegel the Elder and father of Jan Brueghel the Younger. Nicknamed "Velvet" Brueghel, "Flower" Brueghel, and "Paradise" Brueghel, of which the latter two were derived from his floral still lifes and paradise landscapes, while the former may refer to the velveteen sheen of his colors.

Biography

Bouquet, painted 1603.

Jan was born in Brussels. His father died in 1569, and then, following the death of his mother in 1578, Jan, along with his brother Pieter Brueghel the Younger and sister Marie, probably went to live with their grandmother Mayken Verhulst (widow of Pieter Coecke van Aelst). She was an artist in her own right, according to Carel van Mander and Guicciardini, and possibly served as the first teacher of the two boys although her brothers (their uncles) were also painters. Jan Brueghel moved to Antwerp around 1583.

In about 1589 Jan traveled to Italy, probably via Cologne. There he resided first in Naples, where his patron was Francesco Carracciolo. Next he moved to Rome, working for several discerning cardinals including, most famously, Federico Borromeo. It was in the company of Borromeo that Brueghel left Rome and took up residence in Milan, where he was part of the Cardinal's household. In the summer of 1596 he returned to Antwerp, where he remained for the rest of his life apart from short journeys to Prague and to the Dutch Republic.

The Battle of Issus (ca. 1599-1600) in the Louvre.

While in Italy he applied himself principally to landscapes and history paintings, including Biblical narratives and scenes from mythology and ancient history. Back in Antwerp he continued these types of subject matter but also acquired considerable reputation by his flower paintings and allegories. He formed a style more independent of his father's than did his brother Pieter the Younger.

Many of his paintings are collaborations in which figures by other painters were placed in landscapes painted by Jan Brueghel; in other cases, Brueghel painted the figures into another artist's landscape or architectural interior. The most famous of his collaborators was Peter Paul Rubens: the two collaborated on about 25 paintings including a Battle of the Amazons (Potsdam), Mars Disarmed by Venus (Getty Museum), The Fall of Man (Mauritshuis), The Five Senses (Prado), and several images of the Madonna and Child within a Flower Garland (Munich, Paris, Madrid). Hendrick van Balen and Joos de Momper were also regular collaborators with Brueghel.

He had a studio in Antwerp, where he died from cholera on 13 January 1625.

Family tree

 
 
 
Pieter Bruegel the Elder
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pieter Brueghel the Younger
 
Jan Brueghel the Elder
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ambrosius Brueghel
 
Jan Brueghel the Younger
 
Anna Brueghel x David Teniers the Younger
 
Paschasia Brueghel x Hieronymous van Kessel
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jan Pieter Brueghel
 
Abraham Brueghel
 
Jan Baptist Brueghel
 
 
Jan van Kessel, senior

See also

References

External links

  • janbrueghel.net, a scholarly website with full catalogue raisonne and bibliography on the artist
  • Web Gallery of Art: Jan Brueghel the Elder
  • Jan Brueghel the Elder at Olga's Gallery
  • Works and literature on Jan Brueghel the Elder at PubHist
  • Pieter Bruegel the Elder: Drawings and Prints, a full text exhibition catalog from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which includes material on Jan Brueghel the Elder (see index)
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