Eye Candy for Today: Jan Brueghel the Elder River Landscape

River Landscape, Jan Brueghel the Elder
River Landscape, Jan Brueghel the Elder

In the collection of the National Gallery of Art, DC, which has both zoomable and downloadable versions on their site (larger of the two downloadable versions requires a free account). There is also a zoomable version on Google Art Project and a downloadable version on Wikimedia Commons.

This work by a member of the artistic Brueghel family noted for his intricately detailed landscapes is smaller than it may seem from the reproduction — roughly 8 x 12 inches ( 21 x 32 cm) — and the character of his brushwork at this scale lends interesting textural qualities to the rendering.

Dramatic, low angled daylight cuts across the composition, revealing multiple planes of scenes in light and dark passages. The distant parts of the town and the ships far back on the river take on a ghostly, skeletal quality.


6 Replies to “Eye Candy for Today: Jan Brueghel the Elder River Landscape”

  1. Jan had been given several nicknames, called “Velvet”, “Flower” and “Paradise” Brueghel – the nicknames were to some extent an effort to distinguish between members of the same family. His father was often called the “Peasant” Brueghel and Jan’s elder brother, Pieter was called “Hell Brueghel” because he exploited the growing market for pictures of hell-fire and demons.
    So many Brueghels, I can’t keep them all apart. Can you?

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