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Pieter I Bruegel, the Elder was born around 1525, probably near Breda, and died in 1569 in Brussels. In Antwerp, he studied as an apprentice under Pieter Coeck, and later visited Italy to understand the reason for the growing influence of the Italian masters, but his style remained rather different from theirs. Fascinated by people, this "painter of peasants" did not hesitate to paint scenes from the life of common people, as well as Biblical themes, the humour and restlessness of which strongly invoke Hieronymus Bosch. The contrast between the fineness of his canvases and the apparent simplicity of his subjects, characteristic of the great works of realism, testifies to the careful observation and great precision with which he created his pictures. He is credited with making a major contribution to the evolution of Dutch landscape painting. Pieter the Younger, his older son, was fascinated with the grotesque and the ugly, for which he was nicknamed "Hell Brueghel." He was the best copier of his father's works and made his career in Antwerp. He kept the letter "h" in his last name, as did other members of the family, in order to distinguish himself from Pieter the Elder. Jan I, the younger son, also visited Italy before settling in Antwerp. Having worked with Rubens and created works different from those of his father, since he concentrated on colour and lustre, becoming a master of still life. The delicacy of execution and the infinite care with which he painted his flowers earned him the nickname of "Velvet Brueghel." This work covers a century of Flemish painting through the history of one family, emblematic of art history as a whole. With the help of more than two hundred reproductions of the three masters and their contemporaries, the author provides an exhaustive overview of this family's contribution to the evolution of the history of painting and to the marvel of the Flemish artistic tradition.
About the Authors
Wmile Michel Honorary chairman of the University of Amsterdam, Emile Michel is one of the most eminent specialists of Flemish painting. Indeed, with his writings Rembrandt's Masterworks and Rubens: His Life, Works and Times, he remains a reference in this domain. His work on the Brueghel family is a brilliant analysis as well as a colourful family portrait. Victoria Charles received her PhD in art history. She has published extensively on art history and has contributed to Art Information, an international guide to contemporary art. She is a regular contributor to journals and magazines. She recently contributed to a collective work, 1000 Paintings of Genius.
Language: English , French , German
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 1st March 2007
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 32.51 x 27.23 x 2.82
Weight (kg): 2.06