134
134

PROPERTY FROM A BELGIAN PRIVATE COLLECTION

Follower of Jan Brueghel the Elder
ALLEGORIES OF THE FOUR ELEMENTS
Estimate
120,000180,000
JUMP TO LOT
134

PROPERTY FROM A BELGIAN PRIVATE COLLECTION

Follower of Jan Brueghel the Elder
ALLEGORIES OF THE FOUR ELEMENTS
Estimate
120,000180,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Masters Day Sale

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London

Follower of Jan Brueghel the Elder
ALLEGORIES OF THE FOUR ELEMENTS
Quantity: 4
a set of four, all oil on oak panel, all branded with the mark of the City of Antwerp panelmakers' Guild, and incised with the maker's mark of Lambrecht Steens I (active 1608-circa 1632): LS
41.2 x 59 cm.; 16 1/4  x 23 1/4  in.
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Provenance

Ornans collection, Paris (according to the 1925 Fievez catalogue);
Anonymous sale ('Collections of P.-M. d'Augée and the Estate of Baronne de L...'), Paris, Galerie Fievez, 20 June 1925, lot 17 (as Jan Brueghel the Elder), for 18,000 Francs;
Private collection, France;
Whence acquired by the present owner.

Catalogue Note

This set of the Four Elements - Earth, Air, Fire and Water - derives from series of paintings by Jan Brueghel the Elder (1568–1625), the best of which are the signed panels in the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon, dated 1606–11,1 and the set datable to circa 1611 in the Galleria Doria Pamphilj, Rome.2 Brueghel executed both those series with his erstwhile collaborator, Hendrick van Balen (1575–1632), who painted the figures. The artists worked together on several paintings depicting this theme, the earliest of which is the painting in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, dated 1604, in which all four Elements are combined in one composition.3

All four designs here reflect Jan Brueghel's love and facility for the execution of every minutiae - the compositions are filled with fascinating and charming details, from the flying fish in the Allegory of Water and the variety of exotic birds in the Allegory of Air, to the guinea pigs in the Allegory of the Earth, and the still-life of arms and armour in the Allegory of Fire.  

1 Inv. nos A-74-77; see K. Ertz, Jan Brueghel der Ältere (1568–1625), Lingen 2008–10, vol. III, pp. 1038–40, 1044–45, 1052–55 and 1061–65, cat. nos 491, 495, 501 and 507, all reproduced.
2 Inv. nos 322, 328, 332 and 348; see Ertz 2008–10, pp. 1041, 1046–48, 1055 and 1065, cat. nos 493, 497, 502 and 508, all reproduced.
3 Inv. no. 815; see Ertz 2008–10, p. 1080 and 1082, cat. no. 518, reproduced in colour.

Old Masters Day Sale

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London