Jan Brueghel the Elder

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Jan Brueghels the Elder family (painting by Peter Paul Rubens , now in the Courtauld Gallery, London)

Jan Brueghel the Elder [ bɾøːɣəl ] (*  1568 in Brussels ; †  13. January 1625 in Antwerp ), also called Samtbrueghel or Blumenbrueghel , was a successful Flemish painter and the son of Pieter Brueghel the Elder (called Bauernbrueghel ) and younger brother Pieter Brueghel the Younger he was part of the Brueghel painter dynasty .

Floral still life , Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Brussels
The Battle of Issus , Louvre , Paris


Jan Brueghel the Elder traveled early on. Ä. via Cologne to Italy , where he can be traced back to Milan and Rome from 1590 to 1595 . In Rome he made friends with the landscape painter Paul Bril . Like him, he worked fruitfully and shared the work with Johannes Rottenhammer , who composed the figurative elements - religious, mythological scenes, putti - into the depictions. After Jan Brueghel the Elder Ä. After returning to Flanders , he was accepted into the Antwerp painters' guild, the Sint-Lucasgilde , in 1597 as the master 's son . He married on January 23, 1599; in this marriage the first son was born on September 13, 1601, the later also successful painter Jan Brueghel the Younger .

Jan Brueghel the Elder Ä. was appointed dean of the Sint-Lucasgilde in 1601/1602 , made a trip to Prague in 1604 and then worked many times for the Brussels court of the archducal governor couple Albrecht and Isabella , where it is documented for the first time in 1606.

Jan Brueghel the Elder Ä. died of cholera in 1625 ; in the same month three of his children (Pieter, Elisabeth and Maria) fell victim to the disease.


To the works of Jan Brueghel the Elder Ä. count numerous landscape paintings of impressive quality, mostly with small staffage figures, which animate the extensive landscape scenery, and which can also depict biblical or historical scenes . He is also famous for his meticulous flower pictures, which can take the form of still lifes or flower wreaths. He also painted numerous mythological paintings and allegories , e.g. B. The Four Elements or The Five Senses (1617–1618, in collaboration with Rubens ).

He also painted two other pictures with Rubens, and he also painted with Sebastian Vrancx from Antwerp and Johannes Rottenhammer from southern Germany.

Although he comes from a family of artists, he did not include his first name in the signature.

Signature of the painting Großer Fischmarkt

Works (excerpt)

His works are exhibited in several art museums and galleries, such as the Alte Pinakothek in Munich and the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana in Milan.

  • The abstinence of Scipio . Oil on copper, 1609, 72.5 × 106.5 cm. Alte Pinakothek Munich, Inv. No. 827
  • The prophecy of Isaiah . Oil on copper, around 1609, 40.5 × 50.5 cm. Alte Pinakothek, Inv. No. 1999
  • Field guard in the forest . Oil on canvas, 1612, 36.5 × 47.5 cm, Stedelijk Museum, Leiden
  • Thetis and Achilles in the forge of the volcano . Oil on panel, around 1613, 34 × 53.5 cm. Alte Pinakothek, Inv. No. 1881
  • Landscape with horsemen and farmers , oil on copper, 17.5 × 27 cm
  • Country road with travelers and tavern , 1611 Kunsthaus Zurich

The painting Country Road with Farmer's Wagon and Cows was stolen from the exhibition in Schloss Friedenstein during an art theft in Gotha in 1979 and has since been considered lost. On December 6, 2019, it was announced that the painting may have surfaced again and has been in the care of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin since September 2019 , where it will be authenticated by the Rathgen research laboratory .


  • Mirjam Neumeister (Ed.): Brueghel. Jan Brueghel the Elder Ä. in the Alte Pinakothek . Hirmer Verlag, Munich 2013, ISBN 978-3-86678-131-3 .
  • Helge Siefert: To the glory of the hero. History and genre painting of the 17th and 18th centuries. Munich 1993

Individual evidence

  1. Helge Siefert: To the glory of the hero. History and genre painting of the 17th and 18th centuries. Munich 1993. pp. 160 f., 191.
  2. Klaus Bußmann , Heinz Schilling : 1648 - War and Peace in Europe. Catalog volume and two text volumes, Münster 1998 [Documentation of the Council of Europe exhibition on the 350th anniversary of the Peace of Westphalia in Münster and Osnabrück.] Münster / Osnabrück 1998, ISBN 3-88789-127-9 , p. 146
  3. dpa: Spectacular GDR theft: high-quality paintings may have appeared after theft. December 6, 2019, accessed December 6, 2019 .
  4. ^ Konstantin von Hammerstein: Pictures by Holbein and Brueghel the Elder: Paintings from the largest GDR art theft reappeared . In: Spiegel Online . December 6, 2019 ( spiegel.de [accessed December 6, 2019]).

Web links

Commons : Jan Brueghel the Elder  - Collection of images, videos and audio files