Lot 130
  • 130

CIRCLE OF PIETER BRUEGHEL THE YOUNGER | Winter landscape with a bird trap

80,000 - 120,000 GBP
200,000 GBP
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  • Studio of Pieter Brueghel II
  • Winter landscape with a bird trap
  • oil on oak panel
  • 38.5 x 57.2 cm.; 15 1/8  x 22 1/2  in.


P. Fraiture, Les supports de peintures en bois dans les anciens Pays-Bas méridionaux de 1450 à 1650: analyses dendrochronologiques et archéologiques, doctoral diss., University of Liège 2007, vol. II, pp. 205–06;
C. Currie and D. Allart, The Brueg[H]el Phenomenon. Paintings by Pieter Bruegel the Elder and Pieter Brueghel the Younger with a Special Focus on Technique and Copying Practice, Brussels 2012, vol. II, p. 513, reproduced in colour pp. 514–15, figs 334a–d (as the work of an anonymous Antwerp artist).

Catalogue Note

Based ultimately on Pieter Bruegel the Elder's signed and dated painting of 1565,1 this panel was executed by a contemporary of Pieter Brueghel the Younger, who appears to have been working outside the Younger's prolific workshop. Dendrochronological analysis undertaken in 2002 provides a terminus post quem of 1593 for the manufacture of the Baltic oak panel, and its likely usage date is probably around a decade later, when Pieter Brueghel the Younger himself was starting to make copies of his father's design.2

Though a seemingly faithful reproduction of the Brueghel design, technical examination shows that the full underdrawing beneath the paint surface is more sketchy than one would expect from Pieter Brueghel the Younger, and omissions (such as the absence of birds flying in the centre of the sky) and individual motifs do not correspond with identical positions in the Younger's work. This version thus cannot have been based on the cartoon known to have been in use in the Brueghel workshop, but was more likely executed following one of the Younger's finished versions by eye.3

1 Oil on oak panel, 37 x 55.4 cm.; Brussels, Royal Museums of Fine Arts, inv. no. 8724; see Currie and Allart 2012, p. 485, reproduced in colour p. 484.
2 See Fraiture 2007, pp. 205-06.
3 See Currie and Allart 2012, pp. 484ff.