Jan Brueghel the Elder is a famous Flemish painter of the early 17th century, belonging to a famous dynasty. The work of Jan Brueghel the Elder includes masterly painted still lifes with bouquets, for which the author was nicknamed the Floral. Other epithets that he was awarded are Velvet and Raysky. In addition to flowers, he painted forest and seascapes, biblical scenes, allegories, subjects from ancient mythology and paintings of other genres.
Biography of Jan Brueghel the Elder
He was the second of the sons of the famous master Pieter Bruegel de Oude, but at the age of one he lost his father and later studied with others. The orphaned children were raised by their grandmother, who was herself a talented miniaturist.
Jan Bruegel the Elder studied at the studio of landscape painters Gillis van Coninxloo and Peter Goetkint. To complete his art education, at the age of 21, he leaves for Italy for five years. The young painter returned to Antwerp in 1597 and quickly became famous. Just a few years later, he became the head of the Guild of Saint Luke, a professional association of painters and sculptors.
Orders began to come from numerous titled clients up to the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II. Of the two artist brothers, Peter the Younger imitated the famous father after whom he was named and produced many copies of his work. But Yang chose to develop his own style. Especially famous for his floral still lifes with carefully painted details. Bruegel painted from life and sometimes waited weeks and months for the next flower to bloom, necessary to complete the composition. Access to the royal greenhouses, where the rarest and most exotic plants grew, was of great help.
This master made a great contribution to the development of landscape painting.
He often depicted biblical scenes in which heroes took a secondary place, and nature became the main theme. The artist is considered the creator of the so-called “paradise” landscape, which included images of various animals.
Many wonderful works have been written in collaboration with renowned colleagues, including Pieter Paul Rubens. The result of the joint work was “Madonna in a Floral Wreath” and several allegorical scenes. One painter depicted flowers, and the second figures. Rubens called his friend an older brother, was the godfather of his daughter and took care of the artist’s children after his death.
Bruegel Velvet was married twice. The first wife bore him two children, and the second eight more. His two sons and two grandchildren continued the family business and also became painters. The artist died on January 13, 1625 from the cholera epidemic that broke out in Europe. At the same time, his three younger children died. The master worked hard and fruitfully, so that after his death a vast creative heritage remained. Now Bruegel’s works are exhibited in museums around the world.