Reference : Pieter Brueghel as a copyist after Pieter Bruegel
Scientific congresses and symposiums : Unpublished conference/Abstract
Arts & humanities : Multidisciplinary, general & others
Arts & humanities : Art & art history
Pieter Brueghel as a copyist after Pieter Bruegel
Currie, Christina [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département des sciences historiques > Histoire de l'art et archéologie des temps modernes >]
Allart, Dominique mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département des sciences historiques > Histoire de l'art et archéologie des temps modernes >]
Copying, Replication & Emulating Paintings in the 15th-18th Century
21-22 May 2012
CATS (Centre for Art Technological Studies in Conservation
[en] Pieter Bruegel the Elder ; Pieter Brueghel the Younger ; Technical analysis of paintings ; Copy process
[en] When Pieter Bruegel the Elder died in 1569, his elder son and principal continuator, Pieter Brueghel the Younger, was only four or five years old. The amazingly faithful replicas by the latter were therefore made decades later, after models that were not always the original versions, disseminated at that time; they also relied on a treasure trove of working drawings inherited from Bruegel the Elder. Reconstructing this lost preparatory material through the evidence uncovered during technical examination of the copies of his sons (especially Pieter’s but also Jan’s) is one aspect that will be illustrated in this paper through a few key case studies such as the Battle between Carnival and Lent, the Sermon of St John the Baptist and the Wedding Dance in the Open Air. The presentation will thus describe the actual methods of both the creator and his foremost copyist, based on combined results of infrared reflectography, practical reconstructions and comparisons of tracings of their respective paintings.
Brueghel the Younger’s vast and successful copying enterprise required a streamlined production process, and this gradually came to light over the technical research into 60+ paintings by the artist and his workshop. The most interesting discoveries on his techniques and materials – supports, preparatory layers, underdrawings, and pigments – will be illustrated through different examples of his work. This evidence, seen in conjunction with the evidence of the transfer technique, allows us to distinguish his production from that of rival copyists.
The realisation that Brueghel the Younger’s copies of the same composition are not all alike and that there are often several variants of them will be considered in relation to the organization of work within – and possibly outside – his workshop. This issue, examined alongside that of the attribution of the copies within series, gives us a more nuanced view of Brueghel the Younger’s output and working practice.
KIK-IRPA Brussels ; Transitions (Département de recherches sur le Moyen Âge tardif & la première Modernité) - Transitions
Researchers ; Professionals
Online publication in preparation

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