Pieter Brueghel the Younger
- Pieter Brueghel the Younger
- A wedding procession
- signed and dated lower right: .P.BREVGHEL.1627.
- oil on oak panel
Thence by descent until sold by the Carrier family, London, Sotheby's, 11 July 1979, lot 108, for £90,000 to Atterton;
Anonymous sale ('The Property of a Nobleman'), New York, Sotheby's, 20 January 1983, lot 6, where acquired by Akram Ojjeh;
The Akram Ojjeh Collection, by which sold London, Christie's, 17 December 1999, lot 91, for £800,000.
M. Diaz Padron, 'La Obra de Pedro Brueghel el joven en Espana', in Archivo Espanol de Arte, 1980, p. 309;
K. Ertz, Pieter Brueghel der Jüngere. Die Gemälde mit kritischem oeuvrekatalog, Lingen 2000, vol. II, pp. 635, 701, no. E 820*, reproduced p. 634, no. 505.
"This lot is offered for sale subject to Sotheby's Conditions of Business, which are available on request and printed in Sotheby's sale catalogues. The independent reports contained in this document are provided for prospective bidders' information only and without warranty by Sotheby's or the Seller."
The composition, one of Pieter Brueghel the Younger's most charming, is often said to have been based on a lost work by the artist's father, Pieter Bruegel the Elder. A version in Brussels used to be thought to be the Elder Bruegel's prototype, but is later in date, and is now regarded as a work by the present artist's brother, Jan Brueghel the Elder.1
Klaus Ertz lists six autograph versions of this composition by Pieter Brueghel the Younger, of which five are signed and dated: the earliest is 1623 and the latest 1630.2 All are (or were) on panels of broadly similar dimensions, which suggests that, as appears to have been the custom in the Brueghel workshop, the design was transferred from panel to panel by tracing. That all of these date from a seven year period in the 1620s, and none is earlier than 1623 may lend support to the idea that the composition is of Pieter Brueghel the Younger's own devising. The subject however is earlier, and has clear origins in the 16th Century, when it was treated on several occasions by Marten van Cleve.
All the versions are remarkably similar. The latest, dated 1630, was sold in New York, Sotheby's, 26 January 2006, lot 9, for $2,700,000.
LITERATURE & NOMENCLATURE
Ertz's codified catalogue appends an E to his catalogue number to denote Echt, which means a Genuine work in his opinion. He also uses F = Fraglich, meaning doubtful, and A = Abgeschrieben, meaning literally de-attributed, or not genuine. An asterisk* means that he has inspected the picture in the original; otherwise his opinions are from photographs. For the avoidance of doubt, he has inspected this picture in the original and he considers it Echt.
It is usually assumed that Pieter Bruegel the Elder omitted the "h" from his surname to Latinize it when he went to Italy. Our spelling of his name follows his signature. His son Pieter changed the spelling of his surname in his signature from Brueghel to Breughel in circa 1616, but his brother Jan Brueghel the Elder and his nephew Jan Brueghel the Younger seem to have retained the earlier form, which we have used when referring to the family, or to compositions used by both Pieter the Elder and Pieter the Younger.
1. In the Musée Communale de la Ville de Bruxelles; see K. Ertz, Breughel-Brueghel, exhibition catalogue, Essen 1997, p. 122.
2. See Ertz under literature, pp. 701-2, nos. E 818* to E 823, reproduced figs 504, 505, 507. In fact Ertz lists seven autograph versions, but one (p. 702, no. E 824*, reproduced p. 633, fig. 503) is of the same subject but has a substantially different composition, with the orientation reversed.