Lot Content

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
Circle of Pieter Brueghel II (Brussels 1564-1638 Antwerp)
Circle of Pieter Brueghel II (Brussels 1564-1638 Antwerp)

The Flemish Proverbs

Details
Circle of Pieter Brueghel II (Brussels 1564-1638 Antwerp)
The Flemish Proverbs
distemper on canvas
41 x 58¾ in. (104.1 x 149.3 cm.)
Provenance
(Possibly) The Counts von Diesbach, Switzerland, 1780 to 1925 (according to Genaille, see Marlier loc. cit. and Ertz loc. cit.).

Literature
(Probably) R. Genaille, Bruegel l'Ancien, Paris and Brussels, 1953.
G. Marlier, Pierre Brueghel le Jeune, J. Folie, ed., Brussels, 1969, p. 128, no. 10
K. Ertz, Pieter Brueghel der Jngere (1564-1637/38): Die Gemlde, mit kritischem /Doeuvrekatalog, Lingen, 2000, no. A18*, p. 74, fig. 18, as 'Von einem handwerklich nicht schlechten Nachfolger, der mit eigenen Erfindungen berrascht'.

Brought to you by

Victoria von Westenholz
Victoria von Westenholz

Lot Essay

This painting derives from Pieter Bruegel the Elder's original, now in the Staatliche Museen, Berlin, which brings together around a hundred and thirty Flemish proverbs and sayings. Although many of the sayings had been collected in compendia since time immemorial, interest in them had reached a new peak in the sixteenth century, the best known manifestation of which was Erasmus's Adagia, first published in 1500 and reprinted throughout the sixteenth century.

Pieter Bruegel the Elder's painting is dated 1559, five years before his son was born and almost 40 years before Pieter Brueghel the Younger's earliest surviving dated picture. Klaus Ertz attributes nine autograph versions to Pieter Brueghel II; the type gained great popularity and a number of contemporary and early copies are recorded. Ertz notes that the present picture includes a number of striking differences from the prototype, and characterizes the picture as the work of a capable, inventive artist working under the influence of the Bruegels. The unusual media (distemper on canvas) are present in a small group of pictures attributed to Pieter Bruegel I, and their presence here merits closer attention. For a catalogue of the proverbs illustrated, see the note to the version on copper by Pieter Brueghel II, sold in these Rooms, 8 December 2009, lot 5 (£1,721,250).

More from Monsieur and Madame François-A Lifetime of Collecting

View All
View All