Design transfer in Pieter Brueghel the Younger’s workshop: a step-by-step reconstruction based on technical examination of his paintings
Pieter Brueghel the Younger
Technical art history
Uitgeverij Peeters. Leuven - Paris - Dudley, MA
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IRR has revealed only one clear instance in Brueghel the Younger’s work where a pounced cartoon was employed for the transfer of the design. The hypothesis that pouncing was routinely used in the artist’s workshop – but that all traces of the process have disappeared – was tested through a series of experiments on practical reconstructions of Brueghel’s usual support and preparatory layers. These reconstructions follow Brueghel’s demonstrated layer structure and materials as closely as possible while taking into account advice from contemporary sources. The tests show that no traces of pouncing dust should remain after underdrawing and painting under normal circumstances, making it entirely feasible that the practice of using pounced cartoons in Brueghel’s workshop was indeed the norm rather than the exception.
Christina Currie & Robert Ghys, ‘Design transfer in Pieter Brueghel the Younger’s workshop: a step-by-step reconstruction based on technical examination of his paintings’, in : Copies, répliques, pastiches : l’étude du dessin sous-jacent et de la technologie dans la peinture : colloque XV, Bruges, 11-13 septembre 2003, eds. Hélène Verougstraete & Roger Van Schoute, (Leuven, 2006), pp. 196-206