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