The Brueg[h]el Phenomenon : Paintings by Pieter Bruegel the Elder and Pieter Brueghel the Younger with a Special Focus on Technique and Copying Practice
Institut royal du Patrimoine artistique (IRPA)
Koninklijk Instituut voor het Kunstpatrimonium (KIK)
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In the decades that followed Pieter Bruegel the Elder's early death, the fame of that great Renaissance painter was at its peak. But few of his paintings were available for purchase and so conditions were ripe for the emergence of an imitator - none other than his elder son Pieter Brueghel the Younger, who became his father's continuator par excellence. At the end of the sixteenth century and the beginning of the seventeenth, Brueghel the Younger and his workshop turned out large numbers of replicas for collectors of Bruegelian works. The extraordinary resemblance of these copies to the originals is all the more remarkable given that so many of Bruegel the Elder's paintings were by then inaccessible in private collections. This three-volume book explores the intriguing Brueg[h]el phenomenon through the two artists' painting practices. The technical aspects of their works are investigated using the most up-to-date technology and are strikingly elucidated with a wealth of colour illustrations, revealing the accomplished practitioner behind the genius that is Bruegel the Elder and the working procedures of his foremost emulator's studio. Moreover, Brueghel the Younger's own exceptional qualities as a painter are distinguished from those of his workshop production. And fresh discoveries on the father's creative process through the study of his son's copies are also revealed.
Christina Currie & Dominique Allart, eds, The Brueg[h]el phenomenon : paintings by Pieter Bruegel the Elder and Pieter Brueghel the Younger with a special focus on technique and copying practice, 3 vols. (Brussels: Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage, 2012) ; (coll. Scientia Artis ; 8).