Jan Breughel I (Brussels 1568-1625 Antwerp)
PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION 
Jan Breughel I (Brussels 1568-1625 Antwerp)

A rocky landscape with the Rest on the Flight into Egypt; and A wooded landscape with the Temptation of Christ

Details
Jan Breughel I (Brussels 1568-1625 Antwerp)
A rocky landscape with the Rest on the Flight into Egypt; and A wooded landscape with the Temptation of Christ
the former signed and dated '?BRVEGHEL ? 1598 ? ' (lower centre); the latter signed and dated '? BRVEGHEL ? / 1598' (lower right, on the rock)
oil on oak panel, circular
8½ (21.6 cm.) diameter
two
Provenance
In the family of the present owner since the mid-19th century.

Brought to you by

Abbie Barker
Abbie Barker

Lot Essay

This beautifully preserved pair of panels, which have never before been published, were painted at the outset of Jan Breughel the Elder’s Antwerp career, after a seven year sojourn spent in Italy. He travelled there as a young man of twenty-one in 1589, working first in Naples, then in Rome, under the patronage of Cardinal Ascanio Colonna, and finally in Milan for Cardinal Federico Borromeo. He had returned to Antwerp by October 1596 and the following year registered as a master in the Antwerp guild of painters.

During the years he spent in Italy, Jan Breughel evolved a highly intricate technique, and these works, each meticulously signed and dated ‘1598’, must have acted as vivid demonstrations of his talent to his new audience in Antwerp. Amongst his other dated works from 1598 is the masterly Aeneas and Sibyl in the Underworld (Sotheby’s, London, 4 July 2007, lot 20; £1,924,000), and the Saint John the Baptist preaching in the Wilderness (Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty Museum), both of which must have also served the same purpose. Breughel developed the idea of painting landscapes with religious subjects in Italy, no doubt drawing on the influence of Paul Bril and Johann Rottenhammer, who were both active in Italy at the same time as him. In the years around 1600, the artist employed this intimate, small-scale circular format for a number of religious landscapes including the The Sacrifice of Isaac (Geneva, Musée d’Art et d’Histoire), the Rest on the Flight into Egypt (Munich, Alte Pinakothek), and the Landscape with a hermit monk (Christie’s, London, 5 July 2011, lot 32; £262,250). None of these works is signed or dated and indeed the present pictures appear to be the only tondos of this type to which Breughel put his name.
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