Jan Brueghel the Elder
WOODED LANDSCAPE WITH HUNTESMAN, DOGS AND VIEW ON A TOWN
Oil on copper. 11 x 15,8 cm.
This small landscape painting with fine brushwork has been in a Belgian private collection for 33 years, the paintings of which were exhibited in Kortrijk in 1976. At that time it was attributed to Roeland Savery whose forest landscapes are closely related to those by Jan Brueghel. Dr. Klaus Ertz, to whom this painting has recently been presented, identified without doubt the hand of the latter.
The key argument for this attribution is that it clearly reveals the new developments of Jan Brueghel´s landscapes in the first years of the 17th century that Saverey did not follow. Four elements of this new landscape painting can be identified. Firstly, the view towards the right background that seems to be accessible past the trees in the foreground. Secondly, the harmonious play of light and shadow. Thirdly, the merging of the different plains of the pictorial space that point to his later forest landscapes. Finally, the dissolution of the strict sequence of three colours (brown-green-blue) that gives way to a homogenous tone. In this way, a new realism and a new kind of pictorial space is developed, pointing towards later, more mature wooded landscapes painted around 1610.
The trademark of Jan Brueghel the Elder´s art is the fine and accurate brushwork, clearly recognizable in the foliage of the trees and the town in the background. Klaus Ertz compares this painting to works by the artist in the Ambrosiana in Milan (Ertz, vol. II. Cat. 88, dated 1595), the Kunsthaus Zürich (Ertz, vol. II. no. 93, dated around 1605), and a painting that was sold at Phillips, London on 7th June 1992 (Ertz, vol. II, cat. 88, dated around 1600). Klaus Ertz will include this painting in the addendum of the fourth volume of the catalogue raisonné. He will also include a comparable small painting, belonging to the Städel Museum in Frankfurt, also dated around 1600 and painted on copper of similar measurements.
>>> Dr. Klaus Ertz, September 2010.
Private collection, Belgium.
Cf. Klaus Ertz: Jan Bruegehl d. Ä., Kritischer Katalog der Gemälde. Band I - IV, 2008/2010.
Museum voor schone Kunsten, Kortrijk, Belgien, 1976 (as Roeland Savery).