Joos de Momper II (Antwerp 1564-1635) and Jan Breughel II (Antwerp 1601-1678)
PROPERTY FROM THE LOUISE BLOOMINGDALE AND EDGAR M. CULLMAN COLLECTION
Joos de Momper II (Antwerp 1564-1635) and Jan Breughel II (Antwerp 1601-1678)

A river landscape with cottages and cattle, Antwerp in the distance

Details
Joos de Momper II (Antwerp 1564-1635) and Jan Breughel II (Antwerp 1601-1678)
A river landscape with cottages and cattle, Antwerp in the distance
oil on panel
17 5/8 x 28 1/8 in. (44.8 x 71.4 cm.)
Provenance
with Brian Koetser Gallery, London, where acquired in 1970 by the following.
Private collection, England, until 1995.
with Johnny van Haeften, London, where acquired in 1995 by the family of the present owner.
Literature
K. Ertz, Josse de Momper the Younger (1564-1635): the paintings with critical catalogue raisonné, Freren, 1986, no. 384.
Exhibited
London, Brian Koetser Gallery, Exhibition of paintings by old masters, 14 October-December 1970, no. 49.

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Lot Essay

The present painting is a fine example of collaborative artistic production in 17th-century Flanders, produced by two of its most accomplished painters. Joos de Momper II had long and fruitful relationships with both Jan Breughel I and Jan Breughel II throughout his career, contributing landscapes to paintings for which they added the staffage. Prior to his sudden death in 1625, Jan Brueghel I had executed some eighty paintings with de Momper, more than he had with all his other collaborators combined. At twenty-four years old, Jan Breughel II took over his father’s thriving studio and continued to work with de Momper, painting in a style heavily influenced by his father's. Collaboration to such a great extent was unique to Flemish art of this period, and proved a lucrative model for many artists. In fact, as discussed by Elizabeth Honig in her 1998 study Painting and the market in early modern Antwerp, pictures produced by the hands of two masters were often considered more valuable than works by a single artist.

The landscape in the present painting is something of a departure from the mountainous vistas more commonly found in De Momper’s work, but the intimate and idyllic country scene is the perfect vehicle for Breughel’s charming depictions of peasants at their labors. The foreground is interspersed with vignettes of familial affection and tenderness, such as the two children running hand-in-hand in front of the cottage to greet the returning family members, and the child helping herd cattle into the stream. The large cathedral spire seen against the horizon, painted by De Momper with lovely atmospheric perspective, may suggest that the city depicted is in fact Antwerp, where both artists lived and worked throughout their careers.

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