Dutch artist Jan Brueghel the Elder - biography, creativity and interesting facts

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Dutch artist Jan Brueghel the Elder - biography, creativity and interesting facts
Dutch artist Jan Brueghel the Elder - biography, creativity and interesting facts

Video: Dutch artist Jan Brueghel the Elder - biography, creativity and interesting facts

Video: Dutch artist Jan Brueghel the Elder - biography, creativity and interesting facts
Video: Jan Brueghel the Elder: A collection of 218 paintings (HD) 2023, September

Jan Brueghel the Elder (Velvet or Floral) is the name and nickname of a famous Flemish (South Dutch) painter. The artists were his father, brother and son. He was born in 1568 in Brussels and died in 1625 in Antwerp.

The son of a famous father

Jan Brueghel was born in the family of a famous father. He was an outstanding Dutch artist Pieter Brueghel the Elder, engraver and draftsman. He was rightfully considered the founder of Flemish and Dutch art. Yang did not remember his father, as he died one year after the birth of the boy.

Brueghel began his studies in Antwerp. His painting teachers were artists such as Peter Gutkint (Goetkindt) and Gillis van Conninxloe. At the age of twenty, Brueghel left for Italy for further studies. This happened in 1589

In Italy

In 1592 he moved to Rome and lived there for three years, until 1595. There, Paul Bril, an artist whose speci alty was the depiction of landscapes, becomes his close friend. And also in Rome, Jan Brueghel the Elder made a short acquaintance with a very influential person. He wasArchbishop Frederigo Boromeo. This acquaintance favorably influenced his life, as the archbishop began to patronize the young painter. Later Boromeo invited Brueghel to move to Milan.


earthly paradise
earthly paradise

In 1596, Jan returns to the Southern Netherlands, to Antwerp. In 1597, due to the fact that he was the son of a famous master, he was accepted into the guild of artists of this city. She bore the name of St. Luke, who, among other things, is the patron of the painters' workshop.

Yan worked very hard and hard. After a short period of time, fame came to him. He managed to get an honorary and profitable position at the court of Archduke Albrecht. He becomes a court painter. In addition, being awarded the trust of the highest persons, he more than once performed various assignments of the Archduke and even Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor.

Marriage, court life, death

Portrait of the artist
Portrait of the artist

In January, Jan Brueghel the Elder got married. In September 1601, his first son was born. Later he also became a painter who is known as Jan Brueghel the Younger.

From 1601 to 1602, Jan was the dean of the Guild of Artists. Saint Luke. In 1604 he made a trip to Prague. Later he was at the court of Albrecht and Isabella, governors of the Spanish Netherlands in Brussels. This is evidenced by a reference that has come down to us, which dates back to 1606.

The painter worked hard and fruitfully. His paintings are inmost art museums in the world. Many of his drawings have also survived. Jan Brueghel the Elder died in 1625, a victim of cholera. Three of his children, son Peter and daughters Maria and Elizabeth, also died of the same disease.

Friendship with Rubens

Peter Paul Rubens
Peter Paul Rubens

Jan Bruegel had very close ties of friendship with Peter Paul Rubens (1577 - 1640). The latter was a prominent Flemish painter, one of the founders of Baroque art, a diplomat and collector. Rubens' creative heritage includes more than 3 thousand paintings, many of which he painted together with his students and colleagues.

One of these co-authors was Brueghel. So, these two great artists were in 1617-1618. the allegorical canvas "Four Elements and Five Senses" was written. Also, the fruit of the joint work of Rubens and Jan Brueghel the Elder is a painting called “Paradise”, where the landscape is painted first, and the figures of Adam and Eve are second.

Rubens's statements are known, in which he spoke of Jan as his older brother. Rubens painted a group portrait called "The Family of Jan Brueghel", where the artist is depicted with his wife and two children.

Jan Brueghel Floral

Vase with Flowers
Vase with Flowers

As mentioned above, the Flemish painter grew up without knowing his father, who passed away early. He was brought up by Jan Maria Bessemers-Vergulst, his grandmother, who was an experienced miniaturist. Her speci alty was flower painting.

Under her influence, the artist also became a miniaturist andstayed with them all their lives. He used the finest brushes and the brightest colors, which he combined into pleasant chords. Also he was always faithful and love to flowers. In many paintings by Jan Brueghel the Elder, myriads of variegated flowers are scattered here and there. Some of the paintings are decorated only by them alone, arranged in the form of beautiful lush bouquets.

Brueghel became famous for his detailed depiction of flower still lifes and wreaths, which he depicted with great skill. He possessed the ability to skillfully, with great persuasiveness, convey the combination of colors, shape, brightness and charm of colors. This spoke of him as an artist who loved and carefully studied nature.

Having among his patrons the Archduchess, Brueghel was a member of the royal greenhouses, where the rarest of plants grew. An interesting fact is that he wrote exclusively from life and at the same time he could wait for months for the flowering of a particular plant. This was especially characteristic of the early stage of the painter's work. Later he mastered other genres. It is, for example, about:

  • landscape;
  • domestic genre;
  • still life;
  • historical painting.

Nicknamed Velvet

At the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries, “plebeian” peasant themes gradually penetrate into Dutch painting, which at that time had an official, aristocratic direction, under the influence of democratic ideas. She did not pass the work of Jan Brueghel the Elder. His legacy includes many magnificent landscapes, which are animated by small figures of people. Oftenthere are biblical motifs. We are talking, for example, about "Landscape with the farewell of Tobias", "Forest landscape with flight to Egypt".

Flight into Egypt
Flight into Egypt

Along with complex allegories, "paradise" landscapes, enchanted forests, there are views typical of his homeland. These are country roads with carts, village streets with taverns and revelers, pedestrians and riders, windmills and endless plains, wooded banks and canals. These colorful and ornate paintings are meticulously executed in miniature technique.

Their surface is very smooth, juicy, delicate, and there are beautiful clothes on it. Such an epithet as “luxurious tenderness” is applied to Brueghel’s painting, which reflects the main secret of her charm, to which the artist owes the nickname Velvet.

The life of Jan Brueghel the Elder was accompanied by continuous success. Patrons vied with each other to order paintings from him, and his comrades, among whom were the greatest artists, invariably invited him to cooperate.