Bruegel The Elder

Netherlands • 1568−1625

Biography and information

Studied with Peter Gutkina and Gillis van Coninxloo. In 1589, Jan Brueghel went to Italy. With 1592 on 1595 Jan Brueghel lived in Rome, where he became friends with the artist-landscape painter Paul Bril. On his return to Flanders in 1597 as the son of a wizard, he was admitted to the Antwerp Guild of artists of St. Luke. on January 23, 1599, he married, September 13, 1601 his first born son, later also known artist Jan Brueghel the Younger.

In 1601-1602-years, Jan Bruegel the Elder held the position of Dean of the Guild of St. Luke, in 1604 visited Prague and later worked at the Brussels court of governors of the Spanish Netherlands Albrecht and Isabella, about what has remained the mention, dated 1606 Jan Bruegel the Elder died in 1625 from cholera, a victim of this disease with him became his three children (Peter, Elizabeth and Mary).

Jan Bruegel the Elder was born in 1568 in Brussels. His famous father Peter Bruegel the Elder died a year after the birth of their younger son, his mother died in 1578, so the upbringing and artistic education of the boy started his maternal grandmothers Maria Bessemers. Miniaturists Maria Bessemers was the wife of the famous engraver Peter Cooke of Aalst and one of the best artists of the South of the Netherlands, specializing in the image colors. Grandfather Jan Peter coke played one of the leading roles in the spread of Renaissance ideals in the Netherlands and the edition of the works of Vetrovi, Serlio, which became necessary benefits for all subsequent generations Flemish of architects and painters. Jan has learned from Mary Bessemers picture and technique of miniature painting, and also inherited a love of flowers. Thus, Jan Brueghel grew up in a particularly favorable conditions for the development of his talent. The art of oil painting he studied in the Studio of Peter Gutkind in Antwerp, which in addition to artistic activities engaged in and the trafficking of works of art. It is in the atmosphere of the artistic family, Aleksandr gets acquainted with the different areas in Dutch painting. From a young age he showed his talent and flair for independence. Rather resolutely, he abandoned his father's style (brother Peter, on the contrary became his impersonator) and went on a journey to learn about Western European painting.

In 1589 Bruegel visiting Cologne and Paris, where he met with the samples of the national schools of painting, and then about five years in Italy. Jan mainly lived in Rome, where was the soul constantly increasing community in Northern artists. Together with his friend, the artist Paul Bril he wrote numerous Veduta ancient monuments and successfully tried his hand in creating the first landscapes as an independent painting. Brother Rubens, former librarian of cardinal Ascanio Columns, introduces the Bregelya in Milan with cardinal Federico Borromeo, a great connoisseur of art. Prelate appreciated the ability of young masters and their relationship-friendship continued until his death. Most floral compositions of Bregelya was created for the cardinal Borromeo. Known for the extensive correspondence of the artist with the cardinal-philanthropist who founded Milan Ambrosiana library, its art collection includes a number of paintings by Bruegel " Velvet. Cardinal Borromeo artist devoted enthusiastic Eulogy in which wrote admiringly about “spiritual graces of his art, the combination of “greatness” and “tonkosti” in his works and solemnly predicted favorite painter of unfading glory.

After Italy Bruegel settles in Antwerp and in 1597 enters the Guild of St. Luke, Dean of which he becomes in 1602. Chairman of the society “novelists” with 1609, member of the chamber of rhetoric, enterprising Kommersant - Jan Brueghel like anticipates the way Rubens, paving the way for the triumph of the latter.

It is interesting trip Brueghel in Prague in 1604 to the court of Rudolf II, known to all lovers of curiosities and rarities. Most of the works are Giuseppe Arcimboldo, a contemporary father Jan Brueghel was in Prague in the Kunstkammer Rudolf II and was a fantastic world of flower portraits. It is difficult to assume what Bruegel made extravagant work Arcimboldo, however, it is likely that this could push an artist to create bouquet-sheaf with a huge number of various kinds of flowers.

From 1606 Jan appointed artist at the Brussels court that provides constant Royal orders and allows you to open his own workshop. Amateur patrons vying tried to enlist his works and ordered him forward, comrades - velichaishie artists of Flanders is invited him to employees or adorned his landscapes figured incidental figures. His house in Antwerp, with rich art collections, was like the house of Rubens, one of the attractions of the city, which not only come to Antwerp artists, but also noble foreigners felt duty to honour with his presence. In the years in Antwerp, the number of orders coming to the artist from collectors all over Europe increased and so has created a powerful workshop. In the last years of his life Bruegel his shop worked very fruitfully and had a large number of replicas and repetition of flower still lifes.

Jan Brueghel died in 1625 from raging then in Antwerp cholera, together with his three younger children. His eldest son, the artist Jan Brueghel the younger, was headed by his father's workshop, continuing the work of his father; he was a good painter of flowers.

Bruegel has worked in all genres of the small-painting, standing out among the artists of the breadth and diversity of the themes of his art. Still life, first of all floral, animal compositions, landscape, allegory, religious, mythological and genre subjects - such is the range of themes and motifs of his paintings. Reality and fantasy constantly coexist in the art of Jan Velvet. Even allegorical compositions are saturated with natural detail. How was the artist is linked to nature, as it was carefully studied, allow to conclude numerous preserved his sketches and drawings with the image of birds, animals, flowers and herbs . Flowers he studied as a true nerd, performing in search of interesting and rare specimens for his still-lifes distant walks in the beautiful surroundings of Antwerp. Walking these artist began in early spring, in February, when appeared the first flowers. Spring and first half of summer - time, when the master was engaged almost exclusively flower still life, because, as he complained in a letter, “in August, no good colors will not be met”. Then for Bruegel was coming season landscapes.