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PIETER BRUEGHEL II (BRUSSELS 1564/5-1637/8 ANTWERP)
PIETER BRUEGHEL II (BRUSSELS 1564/5-1637/8 ANTWERP)
PIETER BRUEGHEL II (BRUSSELS 1564/5-1637/8 ANTWERP)
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Property from a French Private Collection
PIETER BRUEGHEL II (BRUSSELS 1564/5-1637/8 ANTWERP)

The Blue Cloak (De Blaue Huik)

Details
PIETER BRUEGHEL II (BRUSSELS 1564/5-1637/8 ANTWERP)
The Blue Cloak (De Blaue Huik)
signed '·P· BREVGHEL·' (lower center)
oil on panel, circular
7 ½ in. (19 cm.) diameter
Provenance
with van Diemen & Co., Berlin, circa 1934.
(Possibly) Private collection, Berlin, 1934.
Anonymous sale; Christie's, Rome, 10 May 1983, lot 307.
with Galerie de Jonckheere, Brussels, by 1983, where acquired by the present owner.

Please note that the present work is being offered for sale pursuant to a settlement agreement between the current owner and the company Van Diemen & Co. The settlement agreement resolves the dispute over ownership of the work and title will pass to the successful bidder.




Literature
G. Marlier, Pierre Brueghel le Jeune, Brussels, 1969, p. 157, no. 18b.
K. Ertz, Pieter Brueghel der Jüngere (1564-1637/38): die Gemälde mit kritischem Oeuvrekatalog, Lingen, 1988/2000, I, pp. 129-130, 204, no. E93, fig. 95.
Exhibited
Brussels, Galerie de Jonckheere, Pierre Brueghel le Jeune et les Paysagistes de Son Époque, 9 December 1983-17 March 1984, no. 5.

Brought to you by

Francois de Poortere
Francois de Poortere International Director, Head of Department

Lot Essay

This rare composition by Pieter Brueghel II is one of only four recorded examples, each of which Ertz dates to after 1616 on account of the artist’s spelling of his surname (until 1616 he signed his works P. BRVEGHEL; loc. cit.). The present painting and two others, one on the London art market in 1997 and another on the Parisian art market in 1993 (op. cit., p. 204, nos. E 92 and E 93a), depict the two main figures in slightly larger scale than an unsigned variant in the Schönborn collection at Pommersfelden (op. cit., p. 205, no. E 94, illustrated). Further differences can be discerned in the shape and number of the trees at right and the background figures.

The subject derives from a popular sixteenth-century Flemish proverb that serves as a metaphor for the wife’s adultery and subsequent coverup by literally pulling the wool over her husband’s eyes. The image had been popularized in print by artists like Frans Hogenberg and, most famously, in a painting by Brueghel’s eponymous father, who prominently included it at lower center in his 1559 Netherlandish Proverbs (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie). In the sixteenth century, the lecherous woman was seen as the quintessential example of the topsy-turvy world, which no doubt accounts for its immense popularity in contemporary imagery.

Until recently, the present painting descended with its pendant depicting The Runaway Horse (see K. Ertz, op. cit., pp. 100, 199, no. E 64, fig. 53).

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