A LANDSCAPE WITH TRAVELLERS
Oil on copper. 23 x 30 cm.
According to Luuk Pijl, this fine, very well-preserved and previously unknown work on copper is a relatively early work of Anton Mirou. Luuk Pijl presents a convincing comparison to numbers 1 (1608), 14 (1607) and 16 (1607) in Jörg Diefenbacher's catalogue raisonné and dates it to around 1608. Depicted is a wooded, mountainous landscape with travellers - some on foot and some on horseback - following a path along a bridge. The view opens in the centre of the work to reveal a wide valley with a church spire, and the so-called Temple of the Sibylle of Tivoli in the upper left. This depiction is unusual for the fact that the artist is not recorded as having travelled over the Alps. It could therefore be a motif borrowed from the works of Paul Bril (cf. Diefenbacher, op. cit. illus. 7). It is not known who taught Anton Mirou, but he would have known the Flemish schools of Jan Brueghel and Paul Bril either directly or indirectly. He uses abrupt changes in light and shadow to create adjoining, yet differentiated, spaces. He has also taken every opportunity to introduce decorative elements to his painting, and the observant viewer can discover numerous small animals and birds among the leaves and undergrowth.
Luuk Pijl, 6.2.2013.
Private collection, Belgium.
For this artist, see: Jörg Diefenbacer: Anton Mirou. Ein Antwerpener Maler in Frankenthal, 2007.