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Occasional Painting — The Wine of St. Martin’s Day

Friday, September 24, 2010

Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c. 1525-1569)

Tempera on Linen

148cm x 270.5cm

Painted between 1565-1568

I love stories about people discovering unknown paintings by famous artists. Although to be fair, this painting wasn’t exactly unknown; it had been in the hands of a private collector, who, according to the Associated Press, acquired it from the  original family who brought it to Spain in the 17th century (the Duke of Medinaceli if you’re interested).

When the current owners went to sell it last year, Sotheby’s contacted Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid to identify the work. They brought in a group of Bruegel experts (no doubt such experts sit by the Bruegel-phone just waiting for the day it will go off), who unanimously agreed the work was by the famous Dutch painter. On Sept 6 the final proof was found as restorers uncovered his signature while cleaning the painting.

Bruegel is one of my favourite artists. I absolutely love his style – there’s something both so classic and modern about it. His paintings are full of life, full of humour and at times, full of horrific images.  Of course one of my most astute observations on Bruegel’s work came upon viewing one of his paintings at the AGO in Toronto.

Me: “Hm, it’s pretty small.”tniapcco llewopemearg

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Friday, September 24, 2010 9:50 pm

    Kind of looks like Queen’s Frosh Week.

    But this is helpful — I had heard the name Bruegel, obviously, but didn’t know anything about him . . . and now I finally know the inspiration for this.

  2. Saturday, September 25, 2010 10:21 am

    Elton John works in mysterious ways…

  3. Saturday, September 25, 2010 11:45 am

    Not so mysterious here, though . . . he was just copying Bruegel.

  4. Wednesday, September 29, 2010 11:28 am

    Okay, so apparently the Bruegel I was talking about seeing at the AGO was actually painted by Pieter Bruegel the Younger, who was, yup, Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s son. You’ll forgive the confusion, I hope…

    • Wednesday, September 29, 2010 11:36 am

      I don’t know, Graeme. What’s your opinion on forgiveness for filthy, filthy liars? I always thought you were opposed.

      • Thursday, September 30, 2010 9:19 am

        Who said I was lying? I didn’t specifically say that it was Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s work that I saw at the AGO. In my comment I merely wished to point out that there are two Pieter Bruegels, and that the sentence in my post could be understood to mean that the AGO has a Pieter Bruegel the Elder work, when it actually has a Pieter Bruegel the Younger work.

        • Thursday, September 30, 2010 1:37 pm

          So you’re saying that when you lying, you weren’t really lying at all. Interesting stratagem . . . but will it hold up in court?

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