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Family of Jan Brueghel the Elder

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A face in the crowd: the 'hidden' portraits of Jan Brueghel

Village Landscape with Self-Portrait

In the Village Landscape with Self-Portrait of 1614, we recognise Jan's features in the dignified man looking straight out of the picture in the left foreground, with the black hat and white ruff, who holds his glove in his left hand. To the left is his son Pieter, holding the nanny's hand. As in the Rubens portrait, Pieter is amusingly dressed like a fashionable courtier, strikes a courtly pose and looks straight out of the canvas.

The slightly older boy between Brueghel and Pieter, with his back partially turned to the viewer, could be Brueghel's son from his first marriage, Jan II.

The woman suckling the baby at the far left is also assumed to be part of the family group - she could be either Catharina or a wetnurse - but none of the Brueghel children was still a baby when the picture was painted (their youngest daughter, Maria, would have been three at the time). It has therefore been suggested that when painting this picture, Brueghel worked from a drawing that had been made a few years before.

The other figures that appear with the family are probably maids and nannies.

The Large Fishmarket with Self-Portrait
Water Landscape with Windmill
Village Landscape with Self-Portrait (1614)
Village Landscape with Self-Portrait (1616)
Flemish Dairy
Village Wedding and Country Festival in Honour of the Archdukes

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Village Landscape with Self-Portrait, 1614

Jan Brueghel (Artothek, Weilheim)

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