Jan Brueghel the Younger - VENUS, AMOR, DIANA AND NYMPHS
Jan Brueghel the Younger
VENUS, AMOR, DIANA AND NYMPHS
Oil on panel (parquetted). 54 x 73,5 cm.
In his expertise Klaus Ertz confirms “that this landscape was made by the Flemish painter Jan Brueghel the Younger (born Antwerp 1601 - deceased there 1678). The figural staffage is by another hand.” He suspects a follower of Hendrik van Balen, he dates the painting after 1640 and he compares it with similar works by Brueghel, such as the “Allegory of Discord” in the Musée Calvet, Avignon. The painting will be included as a work by the artist's hand in the planned supplement to the catalogue raisonné of the works of Jan Breughel the Younger originally published in 1984.
As the oldest son of Jan Brueghel the Elder, Jan Brueghel the Younger learned his trade, probably as of 1616, from his father. In 1622 he undertook a journey to Italy, during which the news of his father's death reached him. This prompted him to return to Antwerp, in order to take over his father's studio and workshop. In his own works he continued the tradition so precisely that it often is difficult to distinguish works from father or son.
The present painting shows, in the foreground, a terrace and a basin of water, enclosed by a balustrade, to which a park with symmetrically trimmed trees and bushes is attached at middle ground. Various female bathing figures are to be seen on the terrace, they can be interpreted probably as representing Venus and Amor as well as Diana or Minerva, which corresponding sculptures on the balustrade respectively in a niche at the left compositional margin suggest. Moreover, a peacock, placed at the middle axis, suggests Iuno, an attribute of whom was this bird. An ape haunches in the lower composition, also at the middle axis, his stare directed at us.
Klaus Ertz, 21 November 1989.
Lempertz Auction 609, Cologne, 21 - 23 November 1985, lot 7. - Private collection, Westphelia.