From whom acquired by the father of the present owners in late 1965 or January 1966.
H.-J. Raupp, Bauensatiren. Enstehung und Entwicklung des bäuerlichen Genres in der deutschen und niederländischen Kunst ca. 1470–1570, Niederzier 1986, p. 260, reproduced fig. 249;
K. Ertz, Pieter Brueghel d.J. (1564–1647/38). Die Gemälde mit kritischem Œuvrekatalog, Lingen 2000, vol. II, pp. 682, 733, cat. A 992, reproduced p. 682, fig. 557 (also possibly identical with p. 735, no. A 1008, reproduced; as not by [Abgeschriebung] Pieter Brueghel the Younger, but hard to judge from a photograph);
K. Ertz and C. Nitze-Ertz, Marten van Cleve 1524–1581, Lingen 2014, pp. 65, 195, cat. no. 127, reproduced (as Marten van Cleve).
The inspiration for the composition derives from two principal sources: Pieter Bruegel the Elder's Wedding Dance, dated 1566, now in the Detroit Institute of Arts (inv. 30.374), and an engraving by Pieter van der Heyden after a design by Bruegel the Elder, which Van Cleve himself interpreted in a wonderfully free and unselfconscious drawing. Infra-red imaging of the present picture (see fig. 1) reveals a mixture of probably traced outlines with more freely-drawn working-up of figures, especially those around and near the table to the left, as well as some architectural elements.
The work of Marten van Cleve seems to have been the principal painted medium via which the designs and pictorial ideas of Pieter Bruegel the Elder were transmitted to Pieter Brueghel the Younger, who was an infant when his father died, and whose earliest dated works emerge towards the end of the 16th century.
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