de jonckheere old masters

Jan Brueghel the Elder

Brussels 1568 – Antwerp 1625

Jan Brueghel the Elder, also called Velvet Brueghel owing to the attractiveness of his range of colors, was the son of Pieter Brueghel the Elder and the brother of Pieter Brueghel the Younger. He spent his first years of apprenticeship with P. Goekindt, a painter in Antwerp, before setting off for Italy in 1590. He turned up in Milan in 1595, where he came under the protection of Cardinal Borromeo.

In 1596, he returned to Antwerp, where he was registered as a Master. After a journey to Prague in 1604 and Nuremburg in 1606, he came back to Antwerp and was appointed the official court painter to Archduke Albert and the Infanta Isabella. The diversity of the subjects dealt with show proof of great exactitude and virtuosity. As one of the main specialists in XVIIth century landscape, he totally renewed its design by creating a genre that was both simple and lyrical, linking the various backgrounds with infinite fine details, in which there dominate the blues and greens of his range of colours for his scenes peopled with characters often executed by Rubens. He exerted enormous influence on several generations of painters.