Jan Brueghel the Elder
LANDSCAPE WITH CATTLE HERD AND RIDER
Oil on copper. 8.5 x 12.5 cm.
J. Brueghel f..
This small copper plate by Jan Brueghel the Elder reflects the radical change in landscape painting around 1600. Formerly based on high viewpoints and clearly defined backgrounds, the depiction of the flat landscapes of the Netherlands gradually developed, as reflected here, to encompass a low-level eye line and horizon. The tri-colour division of brown, green and blue for the fore, middle, and backgrounds changed in favour of one shade prevailing over the entire work. As a result of this, Klaus Ertz dates the work to the early 1600's. Comparable examples of Jan Brueghel the Elder's works are the "Bewaldete Landschaft" in the Hannover Landesgalerie (Ertz op. cit. Cat. No. 14), signed and dated 1603, and the "Weg zum Mark" in the collection of the Prince of Liechtenstein, signed and dated 1604 (K. Ertz op. cit. Cat. No. 28). The stylistic similarities of these works would, according to Ertz, suggest a date of between 1600 and 1604. Somewhat remarkable in this perfectly preserved miniature painting is the layered, transparent glaze and the extremely fine and accurate brushstrokes which encompass even the smallest details.
Klaus Ertz, Line 11. May 2012.
Private possession, Switzerland