Thursday, February 23, 2017

Bruegel: Defining a Dynasty

Holburne Museum
February 11, 2017 – June 4, 2017

The Holburne Museum is proud to announce the UK’s first exhibition devoted to the Bruegel dynasty, including recent attributions for two paintings from the Museum’s own collection. Bruegel: Defining a Dynasty will unravel the complex Bruegel family tree, revealing the originality and diversity of Antwerp’s famous artistic dynasty across four generations through 29 works, including masterpieces from the National Gallery, Royal Collection Trust, the National Trust, the Fitzwilliam Museum, the Ashmolean Museum and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.

Pieter Brueghel the Younger, Wedding Dance in the Open Air, 1607–1614, oil on panel, 36.6 × 49 cm, A45, © The Holburne Museum
A key work in the exhibition will be Wedding Dance in the Open Air, an oil painting from the Holburne’s own collection which, following conservation work and technical examination, can be attributed firmly to the hand of Pieter Brueghel the Younger. Previously thought to be the work of a copyist or follower of Brueghel, it now takes its place as the only version of this popular scene in a UK public museum.

Together with Robbing the Bird’s Nest

Pieter Brueghel the Younger, Visit to a Farmhouse, c. 1620–30, oil on panel, 36.5 × 49.4 cm, A46, ©The Holburne Museum. Photography by Dan Brown

and the Visit to a Farmhouse, also featured in the exhibition, this new discovery makes the Holburne Museum the primary collection of Pieter Brueghel the Younger’s work in the UK.

A book to accompany the exhibition Bruegel: Defining a Dynasty is written by Amy Orrock and published by Philip Wilson.

Pieter Brueghel the Younger, 'Spring', oil on panel, 60.5 x 75.8cm, 1632, Society of Antiquaries of London (Kelmscott Manor)

Jan Brueghel the Elder, A Stoneware Vase of Flowers, c. 1607–1608, oil on panel, 56 × 89.5 cm, PD.20–1975, The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Pieter Brueghel the Younger, Two Peasants Binding Faggots, c. 1620–50, oil on panel, 36.2 × 27.3 cm, The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham