March 23, 2012

The Brueghel Dynasty

Pieter Brueghel the Younger, "The Bird Trap" (Private collection)
What do the small Scottish town of Montrose (Angus) and the Italian town of Como (Lombardy) have in common? Well, seemingly very little, but over the next few days things will change, because both of them will become “Brueghel cities.” Better still, Montrose is already a Brueghel city, since the local Museum is currently hosting the “Pieter Brueghel The Younger” exhibition, which runs until April 14, while Como will have to wait until next Saturday, March 24, when the 2012 edition of the yearly exhibition in the Villa Olmo, which is dedicated to ”The Brueghel dynasty,” will open its doors to the public.

The Brueghel dynasty, whose founder, Pieter Brueghel the Elder (c. 1520/25-1568), was among the greatest painters of the 16th century, is one of the most famous families in art history. There are four generations, spanning two centuries, and half a dozen of Brueghels—it is to be noted that the name Brueghel is otherwise written as Bruegel or Breughel—including Pieter the Younger (1564-1637/38), Jan the Elder (1568-1625), Jan the Younger (1601-1678), Ambrosius (1617–1675), and Abraham (1631-1690).

”La dinastia Brueghel” will count 70 oil paintings and 30 drawings and etchings, insured for a total value of over one hundred million Euros, from important private collections and museums, including the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, the Palais des Beaux arts, Lille, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, the Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht, the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, Milan, the Museo di Capodimonte, Naples. The exhibition, which will also feature “The Seven Deadly Sins” by Hieronymus Bosch, from whom Pieter Brueghel the Elder drew inspitration, is curated by Sergio Gaddi (Spokesman for the Arts) and Doron J. Lurie (Senior Curator at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art).

The exhibition—see here for further information (in Italian)—will run until July 29, 2012. It’s a great opportunity, not to be missed! I’ll do my best to be there, too. Perhaps in combination with a visit to my beloved Abbey of Piona—faith, art, nature, and history: what a wonderful mix!

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