Jules Paur, Brussels, before 1914;
His sale, Brussels, Le Roy, April 3, 1914;
With Galerie Brunner, Paris, 1928;
Osborne Kling, Stockholm, before 1935;
Anonymous sale, London, Christie's, June 28, 1935, lot 13;
With Slatter Gallery, London, 1943;
Geoffrey J. Hart, London, by 1956;
With Galerie Robert Finck, Brussels, before 1969, from whom acquired by;
Boissevin collection, Florence;
By whom sold, London, Sotheby's, December 12, 1973, lot 30;
Anonymous Sale, London, Sotheby's, June 23, 1982, lot 38,(for £140,000) there purchased by the present owner.
Paris, Galerie Brunner, 1928, no. 822;
London, Slatter Gallery, 1943-44, no. 3, reproduced.
Brighton Art Gallery, Paintings and Furniture from the Collection Mrs. Geoffrey Hart, 1956, no. 3
G. Gluck, "Die Darstellung des Karnevals und der Fasten von Bosch un Bruegel," in Gedenkboek A. Vermeylen, Bruges 1932, p. 81, no.71;
G. Marlier, Pierre Brueghel le Jeune, Brussels 1969, p. 173, illustrated in color p. 169, fig. 93, p. 173, nos. 6, 7 and probably no. 8;
M. Diaz Padron, "La Obra de Pedro Breughel el Joven en Espana," in Archivo Espanol de Arte, 1980, p. 309;
K. Ertz, Pieter Brueghel der Jüngere, Lingen 1988/2000, vol. II, p. 635, p. 703, no. E822, reproduced, fig. 507
The Wedding Procession paintings are among the most charming pictures produced by Pieter Brueghel the Younger and appear to have been immediately popular with collectors. Pictures of this description appear in 17th Century inventories. Among the effects of Alexander Voet's widow in 1689 is listed "Een schoustuck, eenen bruytskerckganck (a chimney piece, a wedding procession)," and the large size and horizontal format of these pictures certainly suggest they could have been hung in this way. There are only seven versions which may be firmly given to Pieter the Younger, and this panel is dated to 1630, the same year as an example in the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp (inv. 807).
The composition itself is based on a lost prototype by the artist's father, Pieter Bruegel the Elder. A version of the scene, which has sometimes been published as by the Elder Bruegel himself, is in the Musée Communale de la Ville de Bruxelles. It is now convincingly given to Jan Brueghel the Elder (see Klaus Ertz, Pieter Breughel der Jüngere-Jan Brueghel der Ältere. Flämische malerei um 1600. Tradition und Fortschritt, Villa Hügel, Essen, 1997, p. 122).
The provenance, literature and the exhibition history of the present painting was confused by Marlier (see literature below) who considered the Hart picture (his no. 6) and the Boissevin picture (his no. 7) to be two different examples, rather than the identical panel. This has been clarified by Ertz (see literature below) who also suggests that the picture which Marlier noted in the "Panz" collection in Brussels (his no. 8) is most likely also the present painting which was in the Paur collection, Brussels.
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