Jan Brueghel the Younger - ALLEGORY OF WAR
Jan Brueghel the Younger
ALLEGORY OF WAR
Oil on copper. 78.8 x 97 cm.
The weapons, the fighting animals, the zodiac symbols of ill luck in the heavens, the furies, the burning city, the god of war and the battling garrisons in the background all illustrate the theme of this painting, which can be summarised as "the horrors of war". This was a subject that especially occupied Jan Brueghel in the 1640s, a time when Europe, after being bled dry and exhausted by the thirty years war, was finally emerging into peace. The long desired end was provided by the Peace of Westphalia, concluded in 1648, and it is against this backdrop that the present work is to be interpreted. Many of the motifs, as well as the composition and size, show great similarity to a second "Allegory of War" dated by Klaus Ertz to around 1647 (K. Ertz, op. cit., Nr. 223). In works such as these, Jan Brueghel the Younger distanced himself from his father's precursors to create his own visual language, reflecting the new art and atmosphere of his time.
Klaus Ertz, Lingen 13.8.2003.
Private collection, Belgium.
For this artist, see: K. Ertz: Jan Brueghel d. J. Gemälde mit kritischem Oeuvrekatalog, Lingen 1984.