Jan Brueghel the Younger - ALLEGORY OF WATER
Jan Brueghel the Younger
ALLEGORY OF WATER
Oil on panel (parqueted). 36.5 x 49.5 cm.
JAN VAN BALEN
1611 Antwerp - 1654 Antwerp
In his expertise, Klaus Ertz dated the present painting to the late1640s, as ''one of the few examples of the collaboration of the painters Jan Breughel the Younger and Jan van Balen (1611 Antwerpen - 1654 Antwerpen)'' where the first was responsible for the landscape and animals, and the second for the figures. The artists' fathers Jan Brueghel the Elder and Hendrik van Balen were already very successful artists and therefore the sons received their first apprenticeships in their fathers' studios. Both sons travelled to Italy, Jan Brueghel the Younger from 1622 to 1625, when he returned after learning of the death of his father, and Jan van Balen from 1639 to 1641 when he also returned to Antwerp after his brother's death in Rome.
The ''Allegory of the Water'' shows Amphitrite, the goddess of the sea, on the edge of a wooded landscape with a view over the sea. The picture is saturated with references to the element of water, from the various types of sealife, including flying fish, shells, crabs, coral or pearls. The precursor of this collaboration between the sons can be found in a collaboration by the fathers: this picture, painted in 1611, of the same theme, also displays a similar composition. This work is found today in the Galleria Doria Pamphilj in Rome. However the sons did not copy the picture, but instead borrowed from it to produce their own interpretation.
Klaus Ertz, Lingen, 9.2.2009.
Private collection, South Germany.