Jan Brueghel the Younger - Hunting Party in a Wooded Landscape
Jan Brueghel the Younger
Hunting Party in a Wooded Landscape
Oil on canvas (relined). 66.5 x 83 cm.
Whilst the right half of this image opens up onto a seemingly endless panoramic landscape, a dense thicket of dark trees overshadows the left half. Through it runs a small stream, shimmering in enigmatic blue. Jan Brueghel the Younger has placed four figures before this backdrop like actors on a stage. In his expertise, Klaus Ertz confirms these figures to have been “definitely painted by the artist himself”, and not in collaboration with his workshop. The story which the artist tells in this painting is also unusual: The characters he shows are not aristocrats out hunting, but their servants after the hunt is over. We see two overseers, recognisable by their lances and powder horns, and two women who would have provided food and drink during the hunt, but are now gathering up the kill. Seven hunting dogs, whose poses and features the artist has captured perfectly, accompany the figures.
Klaus Ertz dates the present work to the 1630s, citing the vivid colours of the clothing and the brownish green tones of the landscape, as well as the “painterly brushwork in the streaky colours of the path, the tree trunks, and the sky”. Stylistically, this work stands at the threshold between Jan Brueghel's earlier period, which was heavily influenced by his father Jan Brueghel the Elder, and his markedly more independent later phase.
Dr. Klaus Ertz, Lingen, 16.8.2017.
Presumably housed in the Nevzorov Collection, Russia, since the 19th C. – Coll. of Y. Vladimirovich Nevzorov (1913–2010).