Jan Brueghel the Younger - AN ALLEGORY OF WATER
Jan Brueghel the Younger
AN ALLEGORY OF WATER
Oil on copper. 51 x 83.5 cm.
J. Brueghel 16(4)1.
According to an inscription on the reverse of the work, this painting was owned by the Duke of Palmella in Lissabon in the 19th century, who owned a full series of the four elements (cf. G. Pereira: A Colleccao de Pinturas do S. Duque de Palmella, Lisboa 1903, p. 5). However, the whereabouts of the other three paintings from this series is unknown. At least two further versions of this motif by Jan Brueghel the Younger are known to exist. The individual paintings are free copies based on the original painting by his father Jan Brueghel the Elder from the Doria Pamphili collection. Ertz dates the earliest of these series, which is kept in its entirety in the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lyon, to circa 1620, and the second, which is scattered throughout several private collections, to 1628. In contrast to the current work, both of these series are painted on wood and their figures are attributed to Hendrik van Balen. The latest series, dated 1640 and to which this work belongs, is probably the latest, and Ertz attributes the figures to a follower of van Balen.
The work depicts Amphritrite, the Roman water Goddess, amid a landscape of water and trees and surrounded by reeds, flowering water plants and a variety of creatures associated with this element.
K. Ertz, 9.3.2009.
Duke of Palmell, Calhariz castle, Lissabon. - Private collection, Brussels.
For this artist, see: K. Ertz: Jan Brueghel der Jüngere. Die Gemälde mit kritischem Oevrekatalog, 1984.